There are days when everything seems to go wrong. When you discover a child covering themselves in Sudocrem at the same time that you’re busy mopping up pee or wiping a bum. The traffic is bad, you break a heel on your shoe. You curse under your breath, or not under your breath. Dinner boils over, you slip on the mess.
You’re overdrawn, underslept, overwrought. You don’t get that job, or don’t have the money to do that thing that you want or need, or someone is unkind and hurtful to you or your little one. When you want to scream, or cry, or both.
Life feels harder than it should be.
There are days when lots of little things add up to make big things, and you feel like you’ve lost your “get up and go”.
You know that that it’s OK not to be OK, and that if that’s the way you feel it’s valid and you don’t have to just perk up. Even Disney in Inside Out reminded us that life can’t be all Joy and that you need some Sadness to help you figure things out sometimes.
Then there are days that are a wake up call. Days that make you realise that things aren’t so bad really. When you get clarity or perspective.
Perspective is the thing that makes you stand back and breathe, look around you and see the bigger picture. The mindfulness people would approve.
I got a very big, in fact a brutal, dose of perspective last week. At a friend’s funeral his amazing wife delivered a eulogy to a packed church, celebrating the life of “her lovely man”, one that left us decades too soon. There wasn’t a dry eye in the church as she recounted tales of the much-loved husband, father, friend and colleague that the congregation remembered. This man lived life to the full, filling it with things he loved, his family, his hobbies, his passions. That’s the way to do it, an example to us all.
At times during the tear-filled service I vowed to live my life better, to appreciate every moment, to hug my children and tell my husband that I love him more. At other times I wanted to run home hide under the duvet because there was just no point. If someone so young can become so ill and die what’s the point in anything?
But that would be doing him a disservice, and me too, it wasn’t his way, and shouldn’t be mine when I can choose.
So I’m going to try a little bit harder to appreciate things a little more. I’ll try to feel more grateful for what I do have, and try not to be morbid thinking about those that can’t experience it.
(I’ll still wallow from time to time, but that’s OK, I don’t want to become unrecognisable to my friends and family.)
Yes, it’s OK not to be OK, it’s important to have ups and downs, but when I can I’ll be trying to be grateful for what I have.
My friend, “the host with the most”, has served me one big plate of perspective and I’m going to do my best to relish it.