The way you carry it


How do you deal with life? Having just gone through some tough times, well, still going through them, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Thinking back to how I personally handle life, good times and bad.

When life is presents me with “good” things, I am elated. Everything else seems small. I celebrate it, with food & drink mostly. Get a promotion? Let’s go out to dinner to celebrate! Landed a great freelance gig? Ice cream! Meet Mr. Right (or Mr. LL in my case 😉 )? Drinks with friends! You get the picture. There are small events that make life seem wonderful too, and I make mental note to cherish those moments. Like last night, Mr. LL and I were walking his mother’s dog, Pierre, and we were having a good time and laughing while we talked to each other. It may seem small, but with all the issues going on in our lives lately, any moment when we can be relaxed and  just happy is a blessing. I made note of it as walked back home and said a silent prayer that it would last forever.

When life throws me the “bad”, I handle things…differently. Sometimes. Minor bad things get the food treatment. Since I associate food with celebrating “good” things, I think I use it as a way to comfort myself when little things go wrong. Car troubles, bad day at work, the general “blues” that happen–yeah, I’m going to be eating something delicious and comforting.

When life throws “the worst” at me, well that is another story. I can shut down. Literally. When I was young, and I suffered from depression and one of my go to things to do when I was feeling the end of the world around me was to hide in my closet. I still do that, I’m embarrassed to say. I just feel like if I can hide from the madness that is going on around or to me, maybe I can breathe for a moment. Most of the time, it doesn’t get to that point, but shutting down is a huge reflex I have towards “the worst”. I go numb. I can’t function on a most basic level. It can last for a few minutes to a few days.

I try to grow stronger with each instance of adversity life gives me. I strive to learn from not only the events I have no control over, but also any mistakes I made in handling them. But it’s hard. I know I make the same mistakes again and again. It gets even harder when you feel like you have to not only bear your load, but the loads of others.

Lately, I’ve just been trying to live each day on its own terms. If it is a good day, it feels like a great day. If it is a “meh” day, I teeter, waiting to see if it will be bad but living like it’s good. When it is a bad day, I try to not shut down and deal with the issues and problems I am dealt.

Age and experience has lead me down the path of calm observation when life throws the bad at me. I have my bouts of withdrawal, but we all need a moment to process what is going on. To react, absorb and comprehend what just happened and if there is anything in our power to fix it. Sometimes there isn’t and you just have to then figure out what you need to accept it.

But you can’t let it weigh you down. We all have to deal with the “bad” in life, though I’m sure it varies in degree. You can’t let the “bad” destroy any chance you have for the “good”. Letting the weight of adversity, anger, fear and self-doubt bare down you will only prevent you from looking up and seeing the “good” on the horizon.