What happens when life is not like a bowl of cherries? What about when things do not go so well and life is not so carefree?
In personal observations, there seems to be groups of people that have perhaps “good luck” and these people live carefree lives with very little worry. Many of these people have never really struggled to live on their last $10 for the week, or dodge several bill collecting phone calls all whilst scrambling for spare change to pay their child’s field trip monies. Clumping the same “good luck” population into one general bucket, many of these folks have healthy and loving parents, who have given them a lifetime of love, supported them emotionally, mentally, and financially. The Good-Luckers’ “bad” day is getting a flat tire or having Dunkin Donuts provide you with the wrong coffee.
What about that other group of people, the ones with the so-called “bad luck”? Last week, I heard of two people hanging themselves. My heart breaks as I do not understand just how bad life has to be to take one’s life. I can only think of the impact of suicide on their remaining loved ones. How about the countless stories in the daily news: the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma; the Boston Marathon bombings survivors? What about the groups of people who suffer from negative events repeatedly: from losing their jobs, losing their homes, losing a loved one early, and more?
Life is like a bowl of cherries, if one can keep that perspective within reach. How do I know? I have been THERE, multiple times over (and if you are a regular follower of Confessions of A Curvy Girl, you know this already):
- I lost the majority of my hearing at age four. However, I can STILL hear and what I do miss is often fodder for humorous dialect or dumb duck jokes.
- I was beaten as a child, by my mother. However, my injuries have long since healed and my resolve to be a better parent is as hard as the wooden dowels that came crashing down on me.
- I lost some of my teenage years caring for my nephews who had to move in with us due to a drug-addicted sibling of mine, their mother. However, they are now functioning adults and I trust they took something positive from the time spent under my care.
- I had parents who were downright exhausting and needed much more than I could ever give, while I tried to maintain my own family, parallel to them under one roof.
- I had breast cancer, while pregnant.
- I had to drastically modify my lifestyle to accommodate the residual after effects of breast cancer, the financial turmoil and downward spiral, including down-sizing my home and promises of payment arrangements to everyone.
Yet, for all the “bad luck” I have personally experienced, I have climbed out of my challenges with even more cherries toppling over my giant bowl. Instead of wondering how awful I must have been in a former life (i.e. seriously, did I do something to the Pope?), I simply justify to myself that all of these “bad luck” experiences in my life have offered me some valuable life lessons. I would not have sought out these times of adversity for the education they proffered; however, I embrace these notches in my character-belt with grace. I dust myself off from my climb up from the bottom and start over again.
My perspective re-alignment has come (and come, and come again) in so many ways over the past five years. Upon inward reflection, I realize as a young twenty-something, I believed that I had “bad luck” when my coffee was wrong or when a co-worker treated me poorly. I was one who became incredibly distraught in a traffic jam and would let a late arrival at work set the tone for the remainder of my day. Indeed, my apple cart was a bit easy to tip over ten-plus years ago.
Now, I stop and ponder – perhaps the young woman who made my coffee incorrectly is worried about a sick child at home and distracted. Maybe, just maybe, she is actually worried about a lump in her breast and a stressing over a pending medical appointment to determine the source of her lump. What if her minimum wage income is not enough to support her household?
Despite the failed marriages around me, the accidental deaths, the suicides, the cancer in young and old alike, the unpaid bills, the lack of a spouse or family support; or alternatively, the cushioned lifestyles with financial safety nets and reliable vehicles, a full fridge with organic veggies, days filled with cleaning time and reading time, coupled with the local carpool to lacrosse – life is chock full. We know we will have the highs and lows of what our life experiences will afford. We know that the bottom dwelling lows allow us to further appreciate the sky-highs feelings of life. The verdict is our days all end up in how we perceive the happenings to be.
Life IS and CAN be a bowl full of cherries. Sure, good stuff and bad stuff happens, it always has and it always will - to both those well-off and to those less fortunate. The power of perception is truly deeply within you and you have the ability to choose how you react to your situations.
Maybe later today, you can experiment a little and when you start to feel frustrated - you take the moment to remember the power within you.
(Now please excuse me as I put my rose-colored glasses back on my face and as I exit down from my little pedestal.)