So these days the topic of the weather in the Northeast is getting to be a bore and a drag. The weather is….well…what it is…which is below or just above zero most days with several feet of solid icy snow on the ground obscuring what used to be concrete or grass in some cases. This morning I woke up after having a difficult day yesterday and just realized that I couldn’t take my own attitude any longer. Obviously the state of affairs is not changing anytime soon, so maybe I should. So instead I turned my attention towards something I can control….my ability or inability to smile and embrace what is. The above is a picture of a mug that I recently found at TJ Maxx. The saying is one that is particularly dear to the heart for my family. This is because it has, over the years, become synonymous with my grandmother. She finds a way to insert it into every conversation. Yes at times this causes eye rolls and maybe even some frustration, but ultimately in the end it causes laughter. Ah Italian grandmothers…everyone should have one. They love to love you, to feed you, to give you kisses and pinch your cheeks. Some of my deepest and most cherished moments are from staying at her house with my grandfather growing up. Yes, they often only had the type of ice cream that I didn’t like in the freezer but they served up the warmest of goodnight kisses ever. The books we would read at bedtime. The plates of pasta for dinner. All of it makes my frustration melt as we are speaking.
Things lately have had a way of not going in the direction that I would have hoped or expected. Try as I may, it doesn’t matter how much I try to will things to shift, they haven’t yet. I have been sick for the whole winter which is another layer on top of the crusty layer of the weather. I seek out the support of those that I trust will know how to help me but the healing process has been slow. My mind could go on and create a list of these things but that would be to no avail. The specifics don’t even matter at the moment. Because when I stay in that laundry list of what I don’t like, I am failing to see the beauty all around me. I look down to my tea cup and it tells me the real deal. Acceptance for most of us comes with many challenges. If you walk around Boston you will find more than your share of people who if you suggested they accept the weather as it comes would give you a mouthful. In certain places, with certain people, that may be a very unsafe discussion to have. Yes, emotions are flying high these days in many. But ultimately what do we get when we refuse to accept? MISERY. Yup that’s where I teeter in and out of. That place that says “poor me, why do I live here, why is this happening, when is this going to end….” as if I am some main character in a very cheesy day time soap opera. Life serves you up what you may need at the moment. Things are not moving forward for me because they are not really moving forward for any of us at the moment. We are all in a holding pattern just trying to survive. Living on survival mode gets pretty exhausting at times. Just getting by means that there are parts of your soul that are not being fed and that can become disheartening. So what do you do in the meantime???
Well for me, when I am in better space I dance. I sing. I tap dance in my house. Today on the T despite people pushing me around, I danced because if I didn’t I would have been in an annoyed space. Dancing is like air to me. But despite it being vital, it is the food that I forget to feed myself when I am not well. It is as important a nutritional component as kale has become to my diet yet why is it that I forget to take it daily? In times like these I think of a favorite line to the book “The Art of Racing in the Rain” which says “your car goes where your eyes go.” When I am thinking about what is not working and worried about the future, I am lost. I forget that dancing or singing can help bring me back to center. I forget that being silly is as crucial to my existence as food, clothing and shelter. Humor has been such an incredibly important element to my life. It is something that I can not possibly live without. If someone told me today that I was going to lose my sense of humor I would feel it was like someone just told me I was about to lose a limb. It is everything to me. Laughter is so key and it is something I was raised around. The ability to freely turn anything and everything into something that is funny is a gift that I was given. I find humor in the smallest of things; that is when I am in good space. If I am in the space I have been struggling with, the sky is black and the world is ending. It is important to realize that life is what it is….and truly that is pretty damn beautiful.
Life serves up continuous opportunities for growth and the key is how you meet those challenges. Do you see them as obstacles or opportunities? For today, I am grateful to have had time time to have tea with you all and share my struggles. We all have them…those struggles, but if we share them with each other they are lessened. Enjoy life, laugh, love and for god sake dance! Have fun because it is fleeting and before you know it you will be approaching an age that makes no sense at all (ahem…says the Pisces with the bday coming up:) Let the years be enjoyable so that you have even more funny stories to tell! Share it with others because we all need a little lovin. Embrace life because it truly Is What It Is!!