January 21, 2013
Controlling What You Can...
I saw a Facebook post today about a little girl who died due to complications from Gaucher disease. I didn't know her, but as a fellow mother, I shed a tear for little Addy and walked over to my daughter to give her a great big hug.
The thought of losing my child is my worst nightmare and I get choked up just thinking about it, ( yet I still growled at her for creating a complete disaster in 30 seconds flat with a deck of playing cards and tissue paper... And felt like an ass.) You can't control death, you can't control the economy, guns, who's elected president, gas prices, ever increasing taxes and comparatively shrinking paychecks, jobs, your friends.... many many things are out of direct control. 2012 was a long, emotional lesson on that for my family; one that will NOT (if I have any control!!) be repeated in the near future.
I've learned that you cannot control those external events. You can, however control your immediate surroundings, your support circle and your reaction to those. While other factors in life are spinning out of control focusing on those few things that you CAN control is cathartic. With each step you take in finding order in the chaos- just washing the dishes and having a clean counter in the midst of being emotionally spent helps you focus on a small achievement and a sense of order. Sometimes it feels like everything is too overwhelming.... It probably is, but life could always be worse. I'm not trying to be morose, just realistic.
When you're miserable because of family health problems and consequently death, you have to take a minute to appreciate the little girl growing up in front of you, and reflecting on special memories of those we've lost. When you've been completely shafted in another aspect of your life, get pissed off, angry and hurt. There is a grieving process for it all. But let that run its course and formulate a plan to get over it, learn and laugh again. It's okay to let life events drain you emotionally dry but not worth giving up completely... Stand up, dust yourself off and start focusing on what you CAN control: taking charge of your health, organizing your sock drawer, plan your menus, call a very funny friend, toast to tomorrow (with a glass or two of wine- NOT the entire jug!)
Life happens- sometimes it's shitty, most of the time it's good but the true test is how you control your reaction and your plan. Look back to what happened six months ago, six years ago and where you've grown from there. The discomfort was temporary (in theory!) and the lesson still remains.
I learned last year that life is TOO EFFING SHORT to feud, hold grudges, to not apologize and you can't say 'I love you' enough. People and memories are precious and irreplaceable-everything else is. I can still call my Mom and tell her I'm thinking of her, while a friend of mine cannot. I can't relate but I empathize and offer my support when I remember that she had a shitty year too. It's a club we don't really want to be in, and when we get through those 12 Steps we can 'sponsor' friends having a shitty time and help them focus on small blessings until life returns to a somewhat normal state. And then I hear my MiniMe shuffling down the hallway debating on which Princess has THE prettiest dress,and it makes me smile and gives me the strength to conquer tomorrow one minute at a time.