Life is Good

Life is good, and I can thank a friend for reminding me of this. I can get pretty stressed and down-hearted at times. But thank goodness for friends who can empathize just the right amount and then refuse to let me wallow.

The other day, I was lamenting to a friend about my problems and how difficult my life seems to be. I asked “Does it ever get simpler and easier or does it keep getting harder and more complicated?”

I suppose I was going on a bit. Because she reminded me of a previous conversation of ours, one in which we had shaken our heads over adolescence and its angst. We had shared our bemusement over the exclamation by a middle-class American teen from a stable family, who attended a good school and yet was able to say, with appropriate amounts of drama,  “Nobody’s life is harder than mine!”

My friend reminded me how I had raised a skeptical eyebrow and said, “Really? What about a homeless, starving child in the streets of Calcutta who has scurvy?”

I don’t aim to say that middle-class American teens don’t have real problems that should be taken seriously, or that I don’t have real problems. But I needed that nudge to realign my perspective.

Yes, I spend a lot of time chasing paperwork for my mom – because I still have a mom. She’s still alive and loves me and can tell me so. That’s perspective on the daily details.

On the bigger picture, I’m fighting off a mid-life crisis in which I ponder the disappointments of things I thought I would have had or done and now I’m realizing time is running out and I’ll probably never have or do them. But the list of things I have received and experienced is so long, and many of them were blessing I never anticipated. So maybe the disappointments left room for the unexpected blessings.

Stress and disappointments are parts of my life, but only part, not the whole thing. I’ve heard you should count your blessing, but when I really put an effort into, I’m not sure I can. The numbers might not go high enough. I wrote in my last post that I’m experiencing a lot of endings in the season of my life. But for something to end, it has to have happened in the first place. I’m trying to hold onto an attitude of thankfulness for a good thing that happened more than disappointment over it not being eternal.

Nothing goes on forever. Not the good times, but also not the problems. As one of my aunt’s used to say, “Trouble don’t last.” In this holiday season, I’m realizing my life is pretty good. More good than bad.

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