Does Anybody Care?

I’m struggling.

I don’t mean the typical struggle of everyday tasks and everyday problems… I’m really struggling. Struggling to know my place in this world. What and why I’m here. I don’t know if it’s because of the state of the world, or just the fact that this hovering feeling that something is isn’t right is suddenly surfacing, but I just don’t know how much longer I can really take it.

You see, it’s this constant fight, this conflict in my head, the voice that says I am not enough. Not smart enough, not funny enough, not pretty enough, not efficient enough, just never enough!!!

I am constantly feeling like I have to keep up this charade that I am okay and that I have it all together. I smile, I run, I say positive affirmations, when deep inside I want to cry. I want to yell. I want the noise to stop!

Suddenly the world feels so dark and empty and you can’t even hug your friends or see their face in real time that says they love you and that they are there for you. If they are, it’s distant. And when you finally get to see them, you have to pretend it’s all “good,” because it’s too awkward, too sensitive and too intimate to get real. Or maybe it’s just me….

I suppose when you are a wife, a mother, a teacher, a coach, a friend, the oldest daughter and sibling, there is this unspoken expectation to stay strong and be the light for others. And you know that people are looking up to you in certain ways, you want to be strong and somehow perfect, so that you feel important and big when in reality you are just a small human in a big sea of “what is supposed to be-” Lost in the waves of so many other people in the same boat- I’m “suppose to” look a certain way. I’m “suppose to” act a certain way, “I’m suppose to” believe the right beliefs. I’m “suppose to” hold it all together and do so with a smile and a twinkle in my eye.

Then when the flood gates open and you wonder if this is all there is, the darkest of all voices tell you, “Nobody really cares anyway.”

That is the end of the line isn’t it. When you believe nobody really cares. Sometimes I do wonder and I realize that I try really really hard to care, so that must be true for you and everyone else too, right? I wish that my caring would heal the world and make all our shortcomings go away, but it doesn’t. It’s hard when you let your heart bleed and then it bleeds, and bleeds, and bleeds, and you think, “maybe it’s worth it.” Then you feel so empty you just want to shout and ask, “Does anybody care?”

Love Always- Care Always

Let’s Take a Moment…

Let’s take a moment and just breathe. Let’s take a moment and think about all the good that is around you. Smell the air, feel the air fill your lungs and liberate your shoulders from all the heaviness it’s been carrying. It’s been a hard few months. And it looks like the road ahead is not going to be an easier.

It’s easy to focus on all the problems. It’s easy to let the problems eat us up. Before we know it we become annoyed, angry and anxious. How can we possibly get through the hard times if we are carrying so much negativity?

I sometimes wonder if the problems themselves are what eats us up, or is it our attitudes about the problems that really gives us the headaches, stomach pains, or panic attacks. I mean, yes, problems are hard and messy and we don’t want to deal with them- and that is precisely why problems are so tricky, because we don’t want to deal with them-we’d rather push them aside, ignore them, or find the easiest and most convenient path to rid of them so we can continue with our little life of luxury- or our little plans we have for our life.

I know this virus screwed up a lot of our plans. Hell, it had the worst timing. My son was denied a traditional high school graduation ceremony, it cancelled all of Spring Sports, summer vacations, and anything to do with summer plans, and now it threatens our school year- in which my youngest daughter may be denied a traditional start of her school career- who wants to start Kindergarten online? It also threatens my oldest daughter’s senior year of volleyball at Highlands. I may not be able see her play and I may not be able to coach Cross Country. I have already cancelled Student Council. Everything I had planned, and everything that I had hoped for, GONE!

No wonder there is so much resentment. No wonder there is so much depression. But what can we do? How do we face this? Anyone else feel helpless and pissed about the whole situation? After all, there are some moments in life that can’t be made up- that can’t be replaced.

It’s true, the virus has taken so much more than the lives it claimed and has caused so much havoc that our attitudes and mind sets may have taken a turn for the worst. We all want this to end and we all want to go back to the little lives we created for ourselves. I know that is true for me. I wish I could be in my classroom preparing for the first few weeks of school… the very same place I complained about because there was never enough time or resources to be truly efficient. The place where I sometimes felt the life suck out of me because I gave what I could with very little in return. The place where some people were difficult to deal with and at times and I would have to cry in the bathroom to let out all of the frustrations and hurt I carried….Now I would do anything to go back.

And isn’t life always mocking us in this way? Doesn’t life always have the last word, the final say, the lesson to be learned? Why do we continue to expect life to be easy? Shouldn’t we know better by now?

Yes, we need to take a moment and just breathe. Take a moment and be grateful for this time. Seriously! Be grateful! Let’s be thankful for all the small little joys that still exist. My son still graduated high school. My daughter is receiving a free college education because of volleyball. My youngest daughter gets to experience an education that many, and I do mean many, will not have.

I’m thankful for the family and friends in my life that have been there for me, in both the good and bad days. And isn’t that what true gratitude is all about? To be grateful not only for the good days, but also the bad. I mean, why should we only acknowledge the good in our life…. shouldn’t we say, “Hey, hard times are here, and it’s okay, and it’s going to be okay.” “I don’t know how or why we are going through this, but we will get through this.”

In other words, it is unfair of me to accept the good things from God (life, the universe, higher power) and sing with joy and then fight the bad things from God (life, the universe, higher power) and become bitter and indifferent. Sometimes courage and bravery isn’t always jumping in front of a moving train to save the world, sometimes it’s quietly submitting or surrendering to what God (life, the universe, higher power) has planned. I know it sounds counter-intuitive- because surrender sounds like defeat, or a crushing of your spirit, but by accepting the difficulties in your life and learning to trust God (life, the universe, higher power) while facing them is the greatest act of courage. The problem is that we don’t like to wait for the outcome, and sometimes we don’t like the outcome because it doesn’t fit in our little jar of good treasures, in other words, we didn’t get what we wanted, so we think trusting God (life, the universe, higher power) is useless.

All this to say, I’m sorry life sucks right now. I’m sorry that we are all going through a difficult time, and I’m sorry for the losses we all had to endure. But I believe that if we can take a moment, breathe in the air and be grateful for the circumstances that are beyond our control, we might be able to get through this with more kindness, love and empathy.

Love Always