It’s been a tough year. To be more precise, it’s been a tough 11 months and 1 week. With any luck, once the first week of December rolls around, I’ll have this abysmal 12 month period behind me and be on to bigger, or at least better, things.
I won’t bore you, or ruin your perfectly nice day with the details, but it’s been rough. I’m normally a sunny, optimistic sort – and this year had me wondering how I could survive one more blow. And then when the next one hit – wondering the same thing again. I guess I’m a lot more resilient than even I realized… who knew?
Truth is, I’m sick and tired of being resilient. Trust me, I know, – it beats the crap out of the alternative. And really, it’s not that I’m tired of being resilient. Being resilient really is a good thing. I’m just sick and tired of *having* to be resilient. I’m tired of having taken enough body blows to send a prize fighter back into his corner spitting out his mouth guard and considering his second career choice of being a human cannonball.
I want things to go right. I want there to be enough water in the well to wash a load of laundry and take a shower on the same day. I want to sit down and pay my *all* of bills once a week and not play checkbook roulette, wondering if I will have enough to pay at least the critical things. I want to experience less pain on a *normal* day. I want my friends and family who have experienced rough times to have peace and healing and all good things. I want an end to strife, and pain and misunderstanding – at least for a little while. I just want a chance to take a breath and get ready for the next round.
So I came up with a plan. I decided to call a truce. With life. I planned to officially wave my white flag and offer to sit down and work on a peace accord. And then I came up with a snag in my seemingly perfect plan. Concessions.
No, not who sells popcorn at the peace talks – concessions as in “what am I going to give life in exchange for life no longer using me as a personal punching bag”.
Yes, things have been difficult this year — I’ve been in a lot of pain, but am I willing to give up my (mainly) good health in exchange for a shoulder that works or the end to the fibro issues?
I’ve had awful financial issues — but am I willing to lose my house in order to get away from the ridiculous interest rates on my mortgage?
I’ve lost animals this year — but am I willing to experience a life without any animals to spare myself from the pain of losing another one?
When I looked at this closely, I decided to call off the peace talks and re-define my relationship with life. Maybe we needn’t be adversaries. Perhaps we could work together. Maybe I’ll be a bit more grateful for all of the wonder and wealth in my life. And maybe life, in return, can take it just a bit easy and let me catch my breath before the start of the next round.
And maybe, just maybe, the root of my problem lies in that last sentence, “…the start of the next round”. Perhaps if I stop dressing for battle each morning and instead greet each day wrapped in gratitude, I’ll see a different life than the one I’ve gotten to know over the past year.
I have no control over many of the situations in my life (and I don’t mean this to sound like victim-speak – simply a statement of fact). What I do have control over is my response to those situations. I can choose to be the injured party, the warrior, the tilter of windmills. Or I can choose peace, acceptance and gratitude. I can choose to understand that we make our life by our responses to situations. The situations themselves are simply that – situations. It is what I make of them that makes my life.
So, just for today, I’m going to choose to spit out the mouthguard, lay down the gloves, drink a cup of tea and say a little prayer of gratitude.
Will 2015 bring an easier or more pleasant set of circumstances to my life? I have no idea. But if I go into it with an “attitude of gratitude”, I guarantee that, no matter what the circumstances, life will be more pleasant. And that’s a good place to start.