Tuesday, January 4, 2011

ON FUN ~ Skipping In Public...

Image courtesy akahodag via Flickr

At the age of 45, writer Regina Brett wrote a column for the Cleveland Plain Dealer listing 45 lessons that life had taught her thus far. As a breast cancer survivor, many of those lessons were learned the hard way. Five years later she added five more lessons rounding her list up to 50 and turned her popular list into a book called God Never Blinks. I found her list to be entertaining, inspiring and thought provoking. I thought I would go through each of her lessons learned and write about how that lesson has or has not come up in my own life, now that I am 40 and feel old enough to have finally learned something.

"Life isn't fair, but it's still good."
~ LESSON #1

Sometimes I wish we could hear, "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" when things aren't working out.  It would make everything so much nicer.  My neighbor's daughter was so sad to hear the truth when she asked her mother about Old Saint Nick that she told her mom her memory wasn't so great after all and she was just going to forget the entire truth was ever exposed to her.  I thought that was very sweet.  A way to cling to the good life when you discover that it isn't as magical as you were led to believe.

Others might refer to that way of thinking as "DENIAL" or living life with your head in the sand.  True.  But it is also a coping mechanism to bridge the gap between despair and moving on.  Isn't the goal in life to be happy?  Well, whatever floats your boat, I say.  What is so wrong with breaking into a skip down the sidewalk suddenly?  Kids can do this and no one bats an eye.  What is that magical line when such behavior means we are crazy?  If acting on harmless impulses makes us happy, why suppress them?  Life isn't always roses after all.  Sometimes you need to create something to smile about to get through the mounds of crap.

Life is forever testing our resolve.  I am a firm believer that if things were always perfect, we would never appreciate it.  Just when things are going swell, cancer hits.  Or fire wipes out a home.  Jobs are lost.  A loved one cheats.  That is totally not fair.  And it is easy and natural to become bitter about it.  To place blame.  Or to let that denial function take over for too long.  I don't mean to get all Pollyanna on you here, but when life is not fair, you eventually have to SUCK IT UP.

Because it is your life.  You still have control over yourself.  You can still wake up every day and find something good.  The alternative is the unfair part.  Not waking up again on this Earth.  You think your day sucks?  Read or watch The Diving Bell and The Butterfly.  That man found a way to live and experience happiness when he only had his imagination and one blinking eye to carry him through. Of course, he was miserable and in pain and distraught for quite a while. But he decided since he was alive that he could choose to live happily or sadly. And he worked hard every day for the happy path. At some point, that is a choice we all have to make.

I actually have stopped thinking that life is unfair.  Life is life.  A gift.  Sometimes that gift feels like a booby prize instead of the lottery. But our only job is to live it - with whatever means necessary to find joy when we can.  Even if that means skipping in public.

11 comments:

McGillicutty said...

funny you should use the skipping analogy... hubs and I just commented the other day how you never see adults skipping.. we were watching our youngest skip thru' the house.
It is an option... live or be forever wishing you were living.

Mary said...

Great post and reminder to all! I listened to Regina Brett's book a few months ago. I found it inspirational. What a life she's had so far! The book was on my honorable mention list of 2010.

Molly said...

The book sounds wonderful (I have added it to the TBR list) and I look forward to reading this new series of posts. A great way to start the new year!

Lindsey said...

Love this post! Thank you for the reminder that we all need to skip once in a while :)

Penny said...

Awww..Great post!
love to you!!

kaye said...

I'm looking forward to reading all these posts. I have found as I've gone through life that even though tough times come along--life goes on. One can either lie there and not participate, or get out of bed and move on with life. Time has a way of lessening the original pain and one finds out there is still a lot of living to do. Thanks for the reminder. Mr. J loaded some pictures from a past family outing that I was looking through this morning. So I was feeling very reflective anyway.

stacybuckeye said...

I confess to sometimes skipping on our evening walks. I try to do this only when there aren't any people around :) Skipping will make you happy no matter what your mood may be. I do want to read this book and the Diving Bell which is already on my shelf. I love this post and look forward to more!

Mary said...

You know I needed this reminder!!! As always, great insight.

jehara said...

I sometimes spontaneously skip when I am really excited or happy. I don't even think about it. I just do it. At home, work, wherever.
This sounds like a great series of posts. I look forward to reading about more lessons.

Kathleen said...

AMEN!!! I always tell my son that happiness is a choice and I truly believe that.

Michelle said...

What a timely reminder that we are in control of our own happiness. Too often we rely on outside forces, when the truth behind happiness lies inside each of us. This is one lesson I need to learn myself. Thank you for this!