Saturday, June 18, 2016
It Will Change
A Facebook post from a friend of mine prompted me to write this today. He's had some hardship financially, and wanted to try to enjoy some simpler pleasures this summer: miniature golf, ice cream cones and such. I applaud this, as many, many times, and still to this day, it's the simplest things that have brought me great joy.
Sometimes the comforting scent of April fresh fabric softener, or the scent of pine. Other times, it's been a string of white twinkle lights above my fireplace on a rainy evening. My cat's furry belly, and the sound of his purring. Enjoying a Reese's peanut butter cup after a long day of work. A few moments of bliss reading a favorite novel. An old CD I haven't listened to for years; something from earlier in my life that brings back a sweet little memory. Swinging on my porch swing, listening to the symphony of feathered friends.
I could go on and on, because my family and I have been simple people. We never went on grand vacations and such. A trip to the local amusement parks to play Fascination, or ride a few rides; an overnight stay or two at a cottage near Conneaut Lake Park. We never had tons of money or the financial security that some people seem to enjoy. And it was fine. We had laughter and love, fights and closeness, but we had each other and quality time.
When adversity strikes, and choices are to be made, sometimes we feel as if we'll crumble. There's a setback in our finances or health, and all of a sudden, even the simplest of joys fall by the wayside. We feel as if we'll never recover or get back out of that pit. That our world is on hold, and we have no idea how long before we will even smile again.
There have been major events in my life that threatened to pull me down and keep me there. My mother's battle with mental health issues when I was a young girl. How do you ever recover from that? I became quiet and sullen. I see pictures of myself from that time and I looked like the weight of the world lay on my shoulders. I wondered if I'd ever be happy or carefree like other little girls I knew. I never thought I'd see my mother again.
Or my year-long trial in seventh grade with a group of boys who chose to bully me, calling me names and making fun of me. I trudged home day after day hoping they would find something else to do, or some new victim to harass. I hated myself believing the lie inside my head that said "you're no good, you're stupid, you are what they say you are. You will not make it through this."
Then when scoliosis struck with fear and the unknown of my health as a young teen, I never thought I would be "normal" ever again. I would always feel different, odd, and deformed.
I can say to you, my friend, keep your head up. Find the will to crawl out of your setback, no matter what it takes. I am living proof that time heals all wounds, even things as bad as financial hardship. Years ago I was on food stamps and could barely pay my bills. I had to be thrifty in my spending and living. And you can do it too. It isn't forever, nothing is. I know it feels that way, but adversity always passes. Even if it takes several years of caution, of not being able to afford certain things you feel that you can't live without, in time, the sun will peek out of the gray cloud of depression, and you'll be amazed and so proud of yourself for doing this, for finding a way in the dark.
Oh, and don't you dare put living on hold. You can make a choice--you don't have to sit in a darkened room staring at a blank wall, thinking just how much you messed up, or why did this happen to me, the usual victim mentality. No, you pick your head up, eat a good meal, go for a walk, sing a song, enjoy your health at this moment in time. Talk with people as if nothing is wrong--that you don't have a care in the world. Act "as if" you are absolutely fine. Because the look on our countenance and the words that come out of our mouth are powerful, my friends. Life is for living and that means for each and every one of us.
Trust me: it will change.
I always loved this song and video. It's Billy Joel's "Don't Forget Your Second Wind."