The resiliency of people constantly amazes me. Each day brings heart ache, death, illness, yet we get up, look forward to what the day will bring. You can say, ‘look at all the beauty in life, there is so much to be thankful for,’ blah blah blah. But a real friend validates that part of you that says, ‘I have had enough. Nothing will make me feel better right now, so I just have to feel this way until I don’t feel this way anymore.’ (I think that may be a line from the movie Tootsie.)
Yesterday was one of those days that I wish I could relive on another planet. Everyone around me, and I mean everyone, was dealing with an issue that had it been me, would put me back in bed with the covers over my head. So much sadness; real gut wrenching pain. How do we go on?
What is it that makes people so powerful? I understand that compulsion to end your life when the pain is so great. But just a small handful of people resort to suicide. The rest of them plow through, go through the motions of daily living.
A few years ago, while I was recovering from a hysterectomy and feeling generally like someone had drained every hormone from my body, my mother called me. Thinking she was calling to check up on me, I rushed right into my litany of current complaints. She listened to me and then told me that my beloved brother-in-law had suffered a grand mal seizure in the middle of the night, and in the process, had broken a vertebrae in his neck. Besides being hysterical, it sure took my focus off myself! He’s fine now, but we, as a family, had a few scary days there.
Of course, someone always has it worse than you do. People get shot in the head and have to recover from that, while I am bellyaching about the ice in the driveway. But at that moment in time, the ice is an issue for me.
I am a worrier. My husband says its because I’m Greek; I think too much. The things I worry about are not earth shattering, but they are real, troublesome issues for me. I have a friend who keeps telling me she’ll give me ‘something real’ to worry about. I don’t want anything real! I’ve paid my dues!
Somehow I got through the day without throwing myself in front of a train. But then, when we got into bed, I said to Jim, “I can’t wait to get up tomorrow because I have so many things to do.’
My impulse is to keep the blinds drawn, cancel all my appointments, let the phone ring. But I won’t. Like you, I get up with a fresh perspective. I’ll probably have to turn my cheek a few times, keep my mouth shut. That is okay. I am becoming a better, stronger woman everyday. Tolerance, patience, generosity of spirit; those are qualities that are hard to come by for me. Never pray for patience! Something I have heard over the years.
We can’t solve anyone’s problems, but we can listen. We don’t have to offer advice or judge. Listening, validating, that is the key. Showing someone you care about them by giving them your time and your attention. Those things are what is important to me right now. I want to be that kind of friend to people.
Today is a new day! I am opening my blinds, answering the phone, sticking my neck out, er, no, that’s not the right phrase. Making myself vulnerable to everything and everyone out there. No, that isn’t what I mean either. Well, whatever.
I hope you have a wonderful day. That your friends will be there for you and walk along side you in whatever comes your way.