A series of unfortunate events: some of them ordinary
This past week there have been a series of unfortunate events happening to people I know, including me. Everything from pain; allergic reactions causing severe itchiness; broken oven; internet and phone not working; teeth problems; horrible diagnosis; still waiting for test results; car problems; zoom link that didn’t work; needing to be in two places at once (that was interesting) mental and emotional fatigue; not enough time or resources. I could go on.
Ok, I will go on. It was the call to the service provider, where you wait for 25 minutes with phone on speaker, and as you are ready to give up, the music stops and the pause arrives, just before the technician is supposed to answer. (Whew!)
But then, instead of the technician, an automated voice is asking you to please take a short survey to rate the service you just received. And you want to shout into the phone, “Wait! Service didn’t happen yet.” Of course that is useless. There is nobody there. Nope! It’s back to the end of the line to start over.
The truth is that there is nothing unusual about any of these things. Except to the person they are happening to. And even then, we can often roll with the inconvenient ones, but once there is a bit of a pile-on, we can get discouraged and fed up, even with the best of intentions and skills.
Once in a while it’s ok to just say your version of “the heck with this.” One of the reasons that I love and admire Darlene Cohen, author of Turning Suffering Inside Out, is her unlimited warmth and understanding towards ordinary and extraordinary human suffering and fallibility.
She understands more than most that we can’t be on our best behaviour all the time. Some days we need to go to bed with a bag of chocolate and a whole series of our favourite Netflix show. (Or equivalent) Sometimes we may need to cry for three days or throw a glass into the fireplace or something dramatic that doesn’t hurt anyone.
It’s ok to not be the poster person for anything. We do the best we can, most of the time. And sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we sit at the bottom of the cliff and we have no energy at that point to do anything about it.
We are human beings. We get discouraged and weary. There are occasions when it all feels like too much.
Go ahead, indulge for a bit. Give yourself a break. It won’t last. And if it does there are things we can do to encourage ourselves and each other along.
These words from Barbara Kingsolver’s book High Tide in Tucson, are close by when I need them. She shows how this transformation is possible, even when our life is in ruins. She also shows the reality that there will be many ordinary times when we will be in need of pulling ourselves back up.
I hope you all, dear readers, will cultivate a certain tenderness towards yourselves, at those times. Cut yourselves a little slack. There are many pieces in the puzzle of our lives. We don’t see the whole picture yet.
Note 1:) I know I could have written about all the things that are going right and all the help we get. This is unequivocally true! We want to keep that in mind. But I also want to remind us that there will be days when we wallow a little. There are times that we don’t want to hear “at least this or that didn’t happen…” And that is ok too.
Note 2:) You know that I appreciate you turning up here and I will never grow tired of thanking you. With appreciation, Trudy