By Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired)
It’s recently been pretty trying around our little “hole in the woods.” A dog we loved dearly “disappeared” out of the yard, and we’ve been able to find neither “hide nor hair” of him, dead or alive. Not knowing what happened to him is sort of disturbing, but we are dealing with the thought that he got close to the road and someone picked him up, or that the plentiful packs of coyotes that circle our yard got him. He was brave enough (and dumb enough) to attack them if they came into his territory. Whatever happened to him, he is gone, and at this point not likely to return. His silly little ways are greatly missed, even by the other animals in the house.
Then I broke my heel in a really stupid accident and the doctor put my foot in a hard (non-removable) cast for a month. I’ve put hard casts on other people, but never had one on myself, so I am having to “learn to be a cripple” and get other people to do things for me that I can’t do now.
I could go on with the list of problems around here, but you get the idea. However, as we drove back from town yesterday (with the cast on my foot, I can’t drive for a month so will depend on others to drive me!) my son and I were enjoying the beautiful wildflowers that my state has planted along the highways, the perfect sunny spring day and we were laughing our heads off at this or that as we talked.
I stopped mid-sentence and said to my son, “Can you believe how much we have laughed in this past month?” Everything in the world has gone wrong, but we have laughed more than we have all winter. I think I know why, too. The things that happened to us from—flat tires delaying us getting to a meeting that was time critical, to dealing with a company that billed us incorrectly—all the things that have happened are just “life happening.” They are not betrayals; there is no one trying to hurt us; there is no one trying to delay us; there is no one telling us that we are worthless … it is just “life happening.”
The more I thought about it, the more I saw that now that my son and I are further along the road toward healing (I believe healing is a journey, not a destination), we can see that we are not dealing with a psychopathic heel bone, and no one purposely tried to hurt me by making my dog disappear, and the flat tire wasn’t maliciously trying to delay us—it is just “stuff happening.” Being further along the road toward healing allows us to weather these small storms without letting them destroy our day. When you are raw from the betrayal by the psychopath, even these “life events” may throw you for a loop, but as you heal, the “bad things” that happen to good people, even some pretty bad things, are things that you can weather and still keep laughing.
Sure, I’ve wept for the loss of my dog, and I’ve cussed because the heel hurts and getting around on crutches is a pain in the butt, but nonetheless, I am not letting these things ruin my life. The floor needs sweeping and I’m not letting it bother me. I had a living history event this weekend that my son and I had been looking forward to for months because it is one of our favorite events and we love camping with this group of people. Due to everything that has happened we weren’t able to get ready and go, but he went out just to visit, and I stayed home enjoying several cups of coffee with real cream out of my favorite bone china coffee cup, feeling very pampered. I’m going to go sit on my front porch here in a minute, drink another cup of coffee and look out at the flowers in our wildflower garden that are blooming profusely and finish reading the book I started a week ago.
Stuff happens in our lives … flat tires, cars going south, bones breaking, pets dying or being lost, even people being snarky to us, but we can still keep laughing and say “life happens” and I’m gonna keep laughing even if it does. I’m gonna enjoy a cup of coffee with real cream and be happy and contented, and let it roll off my back like water off a duck’s back. Our best revenge is to live a good life, so live that life and laugh your head off!