I moved away from home to university when I was barely 17. I was struck many times with feelings of homesickness and one time in particular I remember calling home to talk to my mom because I was just feeling so darn sorry for myself.
My mom said to me "Well Ju, Life is Hard."
After I hung up the phone I sat and cried and thought how terrible it was that my mom would tell me life was hard instead of somehow making everything better.
It has been many, many years since that day but over and over again it has struck me just how hard life is.
Life this year has been hard.
Somehow in my mind when we were facing the adoption process and running into walls and setbacks and barriers I just kept thinking to myself, "Once this is over our lives are going to be so much easier."
The adoptions happened. We were (ARE) thrilled. Things in our life really did seem better Then the world came crashing down.
I turn 40 this year and for a while I felt like that was a terrible thing. I have never worried about my age, or cared what age I was, and then as "40" loomed I thought it was terrible. But you know, it isn't so bad. In light of everything else that is happening all around me, my age is the LEAST of things to be worried about.
One of the blogs I follow wrote about this very thing just recently. From the Bumbles: "Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don't worry, God never blinks".
What I take away from it is that no matter how prepared you try to be or how comfortable you get, the rug can always be ripped right out from under you. For good things or bad. Expect the unexpected. Because eventually it will touch you directly. And when it does, seeking guidance and support from your faith or other beliefs can be of great comfort.
I have quoted the Bumbles and linked to their blog so you can check it out yourself, but I just couldn't say it any better. Life can change dramatically without warning. Sometimes, even WITH warning, life changes and the impacts can be overwhelming. How do you prepare for the loss of a parent? How do you prepare for divorce or separations? How do you prepare for pain, sickness, or loss of a job or health? Life can really hand you some doozies.
When I was 17 I thought my mom should be able to make my world better. Now I am a mom, and for weeks, even months, I am embarrassed to say that my life has kicked me in the teeth and I have not known how to stand up again, or how to make myself better. I feel like I should have been able to just deal with these things and move on and I have not been able to.
Last night I was watching Oprah. She was talking about her life and the things that have happened that have brought her to where she was. She wasn't saying anything that I didn't know. She wasn't saying anything that I didn't believe. Somehow hearing these things from an external voice made them more valid in my life again.
She didn't fix anything, she didn't change the circumstances that my spouse and I have experienced in the last few months, but she said some things I needed to be reminded of.
I can't do this by myself. I can't take on everything and win. I have to surrender. I have to take the things I CAN control and do something with them and let everything else "be". I can't control others. I can't change the circumstances of my life. But I don't have to be defeated by them. I have to breathe. I have to start breathing again.