These are challenging times. We’ve survived the political media assault of an election year. Our neighbors have lost their homes. Loved ones have left this life too early. Friends are unemployed.
I get it. I know what it’s like to lose someone you love: I’ve lost many someones. I’ve been through a layoff—it stinks. I’ve been treated like a queen and a peasant. I’ve been criticized and praised. Like many single moms, I manage my household and pay my bills. And sometimes, late at night, when my son is asleep, I wonder how I’ll keep it together.
Truth? I wouldn’t have it any other way.
You can’t savor the good without tasting the bad. You do it right once you’ve done it wrong. I’m who I am because of where I’ve been and the mistakes I’ve made. Had I not experienced sadness, I wouldn’t feel joy. And so much of my life brings me joy.
I used to read books by Dr. Leo Buscaglia, and I should probably start again. One thing this great man wrote stayed with me: “Don’t hold on to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love.”
It’s true, but so difficult to remember when life throws you curves. Sometimes anger can make me physically ill. But when the dust settles, I usually realize that whatever caused the anger wasn’t worth the precious time I wasted worrying about it.
In Doug Rainey’s story, “Stop the Stresses” on page 18, you learn that stress is something that must be recognized before it’s managed. We have to face the monster. It’s killing us. And life—warts and all—is worth the hassles.
Whenever I start to feel sorry for myself, I think of people who have it so much worse. As my dad always said, “We don’t have a lot of money, but we’re very rich.” How right he was. Being truly rich has little to do with cash.
I own a lovely home I can barely afford, a few pounds I can’t lose, a career that has its stresses, and a young, handsome son who is old enough to be embarrassed by me.
But then again, I have a roof over my head, good health and a job. I am privileged to call Ben my son. I‘m grateful every day for my family. And I have friends that tolerate me.
Go ahead: Raise those gas prices. Charge me $5 for that apple. I’ve got my priorities straight. I’m darn lucky.