I just emailed a friend and unburdened three months? worth of frustration on her. It was sent under the guise of an update, but really it was a litany of complaints and bitching about the state of my life and some of the challenges I’m facing. I guess That’s what happens when you trust someone to listen and understand without judging. If I know her, she’ll write some calming words of encouragement aimed at helping me get things back into perspective.
Every so often I need to remind myself that life’s not feast or famine, storm clouds or rainbows. It’s a daily concoction of blessings and problems mixed together. In most cases, we did nothing specific to deserve either. It’s simply the ebb and flow of life. What keeps us off-kilter is not being in charge of the ratio?and knowing It’s subject to change without warning.
But this, too, shall pass.
Success experts tell us It’s impossible to keep two thoughts in our minds simultaneously; that no matter the crap happening out there, we have control of our minds and how we choose to deal with what’s going on. Lately I’ve needed to remind myself of that truism so that I can keep functioning day-to-day.
I’ve resorted to making a list of reasons to hang in there. I’ve written out a prayer asking for help, for insight, for patience. I’ve considered that those making life harder are not malicious, but perhaps misguided. I cling to the hope, for myself and others, that Maya Angelou voiced: when we know better, we do better. I thank God for the allies I have who allow me to vent, talk me in off the ledge, give me hope, and tell me to go slow and chill. Chilling is not something I do well. I’m intense. I have high expectations of myself and others. I want results yesterday, even when the wiser side of me knows the problems are years old.
So instead of doing Chicken Little’s the-sky-is-falling routine, I will count my blessings. I will tally up those who love and support me unconditionally despite my shortcomings. I will be grateful for the warmth and security of my home despite the fierce, bone-chilling winds outside my door. I will tell my husband, working away from home, how much he still means to me after 38 years of marriage.
When I’m done with that, I’ll pick myself up and carry on. When I inventory my health status, I am blessed. When I look at my family, I am rich.
On the balance sheet of life, I am truly in the black.
In fact, I feel better just having written these words, knowing that you, dear reader, have likely walked in the same shoes and understand. Having this platform is a blessing, from where I sit.
Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.