Tag: Sadness

Bad News Does People No Good

The news makes me so sad. The state of the world, the way people see it and think about it and react to it – it’s hard. Perhaps it’s no different than any other time in history, we have learned about the chaos humans create…and endure. Chaotic times go back as far back as history remembers.

But it’s hard to fight for the calmness we humans so desperately seek when we’re surrounded by a deep unhappiness that spreads like a contagious virus.

I woke up to the news of United Airlines hurting a Chinese doctor because he would not give up his seat due to airline overbooking. He is an old man who just wanted to go home, but instead was sorely mistreated by airline employees. Ugh, horrible.

Or the story about children in several states being publicly shamed in school because they could not afford to buy lunch. Worse – denied lunch when the visible stamps on their hands say “I need lunch money.” And these children walk not just through a lunch line, but throughout their day in school, every day, stigmatized, humiliated and hungry.

So incredibly sad. And as we know, that’s not the half of it nor the worst stories “out there.” Some are too terrible to even absorb.

These are humans. People. Living, breathing, loving, and losing – people. The human race is losing. But haven’t we always? History seems to think so.

It’s easy to blame. We have a crippled democracy now, governed by a few who think it’s ok to hurt people and seemingly by no accident instill that mindset to ignite their cause. But it’s more than that. It’s the whole planet, all the way down to my street.

We live in an urban setting but ironically surrounded by nature that we see every day. Not just the usual squirrels or birds, but deer, coyote and wild turkeys. Recently traffic was stopped on my street because a large flock of turkeys was crossing the road – big, beautiful, slow turkeys.

One man continued to try to swerve his car around the long line of stopped traffic, honking, yelling out his window, flailing his arms and cursing at those of us who tried to point out that we were stopped for what looked and seemed so beautiful, so peaceful – creatures simply living their lives without concern about the turbulent world around them – but with great concern for each other.

You could see the bigger ones rallying the smaller ones, helping them cross the street. It was a Make Way for Ducklings moment right before our eyes. But the enraged man certainly couldn’t appreciate it. I think he would have run them over if he could. Sad.

I’m not sure what causes people to be so hateful. Whether we are optimistic or pessimistic, kind or cruel, observation over time shows we are who we are and that’s who we put out into the world.

There is beauty out there, sometimes it’s just really hard to see.



When the Silver Lining Feels Blue

My son woke up a bit edgy on his last day home from a way-too-short visit. He was trying not to show his inner-push to hurry in light of his pending 10-hour drive.

It was New Year’s Day, but didn’t feel like it. Sir Husband had been at work for hours, texting me crying emojis about the boy leaving.  I had been up since the crack of dawn taking down the Christmas tree, while the cats chased the hundreds of falling needles as they fell from the branches. If life was only that simple and entertaining all the time.

My son finally blurted out his angst. “I don’t want to leave yet. I hate Apple,” he said.

He doesn’t hate Apple, he actually loves it. But I knew what he meant. His working three jobs to pay for college takes a toll on all of us. I wish we could contribute more so he could have a different college experience. But it is what it is, like with so many things we just have to deal with it, including little time off.

As he quickly packed his bags, the distant tune of Star Wars played on a ceramic flute. The youngest son was upstairs playing his new ocarina, an archaic instrument that sounds like a recorder. I have no idea what prompted him to want it, but he got it for Christmas and taught himself that song.

When the car was loaded and it was time for the boy to leave, nobody noticed that the un-decorated Christmas tree was leaning halfway to the ground barely propped in the stand. I didn’t really care if it fell down and just stayed there.

My sadness wasn’t hidden, but I did try to hold back the tears. My son choked back his own as he hugged us goodbye. Once the car was out of sight, my youngest and I stopped waving and didn’t say a word. There was nothing to say. The barely three-day, post-Christmas round-trip was over as fast as it started.

Life is always evolving, it’s about embracing it all, even when we are not prepared for how it will feel in the moment. But unlike a movie there isn’t always resolution, the emotions continue to flow. It’s all ongoing, a work-in-progress, a to-be-continued, without any previews or script. Oh sure we can try to write it, or follow a typical diagram, but it doesn’t always work out the way we would like.

The trick is to try to have the best experience possible we can in the moment, which we tried to do on New Year’s Day. All the hoopla about renewal and resolutions, hopes and intentions, parades and roses–it didn’t matter. Those would be there for another day, any day actually. Because the only sure thing about feelings, about circumstances, about life, is that it continues to flow. It’s just up to us how we manage it.

So instead of a New Year’s resolution, I’m going with a New Year’s flow.

Make the best of it, Make the best of it, Make the best of it.  And the rest will all unfold.super duper


A Call to Healing: The Lost Tribe

There are different times in our lives when things float to the surface of our psyche, tapping or nudging to be noticed. They may seem to come out of nowhere, but indeed they come from somewhere deep inside of us, lost or forgotten pain that decides it’s time to surface. We can pay attention to it, or we can shove it away until later. It will come again, it always does.

I knew a long time ago when I lived a life surrounded by close friends who were like family that I had a good thing going. I recognized it at the time, and cherished every moment with each of them as if I knew somehow that one day they all would be gone. They say we write the scripts of our lives before we get here, I can’t imagine that I would have written in so much pain. But I try to step back and look at what the message in that pain may be. It takes an open mind and heart, time and patience, and also some degree of personal responsibility.

I built a life with my children surrounded by like-minded moms, and dads, who became part of my tribe. You know the phrase, it takes a village? Well it does, especially with kids. It’s easy to meet similar souls when your children are young. Each year as they grow together, you grow together as parents. And like with the children, sometimes friendships stick, and sometimes they don’t. But eventually you settle in to a tight-knit group of people who you can call home.

It takes a long time to build your tribe of like-minded people, so when life changes you hope for the best on several fronts – that they will understand, support, and endure. The insanity of Mr. Ex’s addiction was the first thing creating static with my friends. To the outside world, my inside one seemed crazy, and it was. It is nearly impossible to manage life with an addict, you are always at the end of a smoking gun, or caught in the crossfire of their own drama. At the same time I was raising a child on the autism spectrum, whose day to day life literally hung in the balance. My friends were in an awkward position, although most of them stayed true, offering the kind of support only a family-like tribe does. Unconditional.

They stuck with me through my dramatic life changes year after year, watching me survive, helping me survive. They supported and encouraged me leaving my marriage to an addict and years of subsequent abuse, they even helped me along the way. They cheered in joy and hugged in happiness when I re-met the love of my life, my childhood best friend and cherished life partner. They even stayed with me when I moved out of state, again and again. But eventually my life’s stories took their toll. The excessive terroristic reign of Scary Mrs. Ex and her tribe, did mine in. Caught up in a situation that was not my doing, and my family’s need to live with police assistance because of it, makes it a bit awkward for most.

I read an article about a woman who had trouble keeping friends by affiliation that her mother was a drug addict. She lived her life under the judgmental eyes that she too, must be an addict, although she was not, and in fact held her family together because her mother could not. I get that. I did the same in my family when Mr. Ex was in his throws. But I think it’s more than that. I think people get tired of watching drama and trauma up close on a daily basis, and stay away from the toxicity of it. I think they take as much as they can and then they opt out. I guess I don’t really blame them. In fact, this isn’t about blame at all.

It’s about pain. These people were family to me, and I feel their loss quite deeply. My life is peaceful and calm now, finally through all the horror. They don’t know the me I am, the me I’ve become, me without the chaos. The one who evolved, who learned, whose life changed for the better, and who has a wonderful husband. There is space and room for friends and for fun, connection and companionship. I miss those gone, and I hold dear the special few who are right now by my side.

I am trying to make new friends in yet another new state, find a new village, a new tribe, or even a few souls who are seeking the same, and slowly I am. But what I find are people who already have what I lost. I see it so clearly I almost cannot stand it because it reminds me, and I feel a bit alienated. I’m sure I have plenty to work on here, and I’m sure it is all about grief.

I saw a post on Facebook that said it sucks when you think you have a new friend and you really don’t. Sure does. And likewise, it sucks when you lost those you thought were lifelong.

Tap…tap…tap. Pay attention to the call. In order to heal we need to feel, says Baron Baptiste, my first yoga instructor and a well-respected guru.

When we live with an open heart, we know we can be hurt, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. As hard as it is, friends will come and go, and those who stay are gifts. And if I did indeed write the script of my life, then I must have also written in the love of my life, a love beyond words. When we have and share love, for as long as we have it, we have everything.

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