Have you ever stared into nothing and wondered how you got where you are? Have you ever asked, “Is this my life?” If so, you are not alone. Years ago, I was standing in a blizzard waiting for a city bus. My hands and feet were freezing, and it was scary standing there all alone. I remember saying, “Is this me and my life?”
This winter, as the wind and dirt blew day after day, I’m guessing farmers felt despair and questioned if the benefits of an agricultural lifestyle outweighed the stress, worry, and hardships.
People raising kids know life teeters between overwhelming love and joy, to, “Remind me why I did this.” Good doesn’t last forever, and bad doesn’t either.
Life seems to come in waves. It can go from long periods of good to times where nothing works. In my early 20s, I was in the hospital every fall. I was either having major surgery or a baby. Since then, I have been healthy and well, with only a need for annual physicals. As my
parents lived their last year in a nursing home, I had little time for anything other than their wellbeing. They passed nine months apart and left a void in my heart, routine, and purpose. Today, I have sweet memories. Another tornado of darkness was the loss of my sister, yet today, I count my blessings for what we shared.
Loss, stress, and challenge compete with joy, opportunity, and rewards. Life’s ups and downs come and go. Just hang on. Envision the cat clinging frightfully to the branch as if it was the last of his nine lives. Even when nothing can be done to change the past, resiliency is evident on faces of people struggling with horrific events. If we don’t hang on and keep hope alive, our world can stay dark and feel worthless.
Learning to hang on is a life skill. No matter how bad things get, as long as there is a tomorrow, there is a chance for accepting, renewing, and growing. When my life gets painful and complicated, I think of survivors of the Holocaust and concentration camps. It kicks my head out
of the whining mode.
Life can be remarkable, unpredictable, or upside down, all in the same day. If we don’t hang on, we lose out—we fail the challenge. Lynn Anderson sang, “I never promised you a rose garden.” God didn’t say life would be perfect or easy. Life is about learning, and if we never hit a bump in the road or confront a mountain too high, we don’t grow or change—we miss opportunities to get it right.
We have heard the quotes, “When life gives you lemons, use them to make lemonade,” or “When life throws you a curveball, hit ’em out of the park.”
I say, “When life gets tough, just hang on—it will change.”
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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