The year 2013 was not incredibly kind to our family. Between my husband’s motorcycle accident, Evan’s hospitalization, and a whole host of other not so great things, we were looking forward to starting fresh in 2014.
Unfortunately, since January, we have had a laundry list of challenges, including the diagnosis of a tumor in my neck that was found the day Evan came home. Now, when I’m on stage or with clients, I share the importance of being optimistic, handling daily challenges head on, and the power of positive thinking. While I absolutely believe and try to live those philosophies daily, sometimes it’s easier said than done.
So what do you do when life’s just not fair? What do you do when you feel like you are confronted with one obstacle after another?
While everyone handles it differently, most of us initially start with some combination of denial, anger, frustration, and “why me?”. I am certainly no exception.
But when the dust settles, you still have to deal with reality. While some people seem to be more resilient than others, most choose to push on through because giving up is not a practical option.
Whether we cope with crisis through prayer and positive thinking or using unhealthy vices to numb the pain, we all have to cope.
Even when the sky seems to be falling, it’s important to remain grateful for the successes along the way. I found out two weeks ago that the tumor is benign (thank God), but I still have to have it removed this Wednesday because it can become malignant. While I’m not looking forward to having my face and neck sliced open and drinking dinner through a straw for a week, I am grateful that it wasn’t a whole lot worse.
I am grateful that Evan is home, and while we’re not where we need to be, he’s definitely made progress. I’m grateful that I have a family that loves me, an incredible support system, and the means to be able to receive medical treatment. Even in the midst of what feels like the perfect storm, there are positive things that happen along the way if you make the effort to look for them.
Life happens. Sometimes it doesn’t happen the way we would like it to, but it happens nonetheless. While having a pity party, getting angry, and shedding a few tears is totally natural, we all get to choose whether or not we’ll stay stuck there.
If you are in an up cycle (life is good), celebrate every day. Be grateful and revel in the good times. If you are in a down cycle, and everything thing that can go wrong seems to be going that way, find things to be grateful for, lean on the people who love you, and trudge on because it WILL get better.
The next time you see me, I’ll be sporting a cool scar from the top of my ear to the middle of my neck. I have decided that it happened during an Olympic fencing event, rescuing a baby from a burning building, or one hell of a bar fight (and you should see the other guy).
One way or another, I’ll come out stronger, and I’ll be grateful. How will you handle it the next time life’s just not fair? You get to choose.