Life On Life’s Terms

One of the greatest mistakes I ever made was believing that there would be a point in life where everything was okay and nothing was wrong. That moment really doesn’t exist. There will always be something that throws us off kilter and hits us when we least expect it. There will always be this tricky little thing called life.

As I’ve said in previous entries, I was always waiting for the moment of perfect happiness that would never arrive. I thought “I’ll be happy once we (fill in the blank), or once (fill in the blank) happens.” Happiness was something that was always on the horizon, but it never seemed to get any closer no matter how many mile markers I passed. Happiness was illusive. Life was ever-present. I was never satisfied. I was waiting for the more that never came. Even if more had come, it wouldn’t have been enough. Nothing was ever enough.

John Lennon, one of my all time musical and philosophical heroes, famously wrote in the song “Beautiful Boy” that “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” I have always loved that song and the special poignancy of his having written it for his son Sean not too long before his far too soon demise in 1980. I have sung that song to my own son, my own “beautiful boy”, but I have only come to fully understand that particular lyric in the last 5 years.

Life is, as the cliche would have it, a journey and not a destination. It is a marathon and not a sprint. It is what happens everyday, the little things we take for granted. It’s the 6:00 am dog walking, the 6:30 breakfast making, and the getting kids out of the house for school daily grind. It’s the commute to work that I hate, the students whose lessons drag on and on because they aren’t prepared, or the students whose lessons fly by because they are hungry for what I have to give them. Life is the stress of the unknown in my work, in my finances, in my son and daughter’s future, in my husband’s far too often travel schedule. Life is not a highlight reel. Life is real.

The revolution hasn’t been televised. The revolution is live and happening within us all right now.

Sometimes I don’t like what life has to offer. I don’t enjoy paying bills — but I’ve learned to be grateful that I have the money to pay them (when I do, indeed, have the money…). Sometimes I don’t like the weather during my commute, or the driving abilities of the folks around me on the highway. I am, however, happy to have a job to commute to and a car to get me there. I am learning, slowly but surely, to appreciate my life more and more, and to be grateful for the smallest things. I am trying not to miss anything, not to wish I were somewhere else doing something else at a different time. I am living in the moment as much as I can, and I’ve discovered something really important about living in the moment — it’s fucking hard to do. Sometimes it just sucks because the moment you’re in may contain pain, anguish, fear, anger, frustration… all the things we don’t want to feel.

I have learned the value of feeling the feelings and not trying to escape them. I’ve come to understand that the pain I feel today helps me to enjoy the happiness and contentment I have in my future. Mind you, I don’t like pain. I am not masochist, not by a long shot. However, I have learned that a life well lived is a life lived honestly, and pain and other negative emotions are part of that raw honesty that so many of us are afraid to look at. If we run from those emotions, we run the risk of missing significant portions of our life. We risk missing the richness and fullness of what life is.

Various situations in my life right now are causing me pain, frustration, and fear. I am angry sometimes. This morning, I was angry with God and I told Him so. I want closure. I want a resolution. I want what I want and I want it NOW. I am impatient and I don’t want things on His time. I want to be in control, because He’s taking too long. If you can’t drive any faster, Lord, then let me drive!

Sure. That’s a great idea. How many times have I driven my own life right into a ditch that I couldn’t get out of? Yeah, I can’t count that high either. My being in control is NOT the answer. My impatience is NOT the answer. There is only one answer, and I’m not always happy about it but I know it’s true.

Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. It is my best and only options. I change what I can and I leave the rest to the Big Guy, the whole time asking Him for the wisdom to tell the difference between what to change and what to accept. All I can see is what’s right here in front of me. He’s got the big picture view. I need to let Him drive on this since He can see and I can’t. At least, that makes sense to me…

So, I’m here. Life is uncertain. Life is hard. Life is beautiful. Life is what happens to you. Period. Life is what happens to us all. Sometimes life is sweet and sometimes it’s a heavy load to carry. The trick is learning to lay your burden down as often as you can and enjoy the living.

I don’t know how much longer I have. None of us do. Let’s live like it’s our last day and savor every moment. I think it’s worth it, and that’s my plan. I hope it’s your plan too.

Much love,
Lisa

It’s Been Far Too Long

Hello, again.

I’ve just spent the last hour or so reading over all of my previous blog entries. I have missed blogging and longed to get back to it. I’ve decided that now is the time.

First, I’d like to thank anyone who has ever taken the time to read what I’ve written. I am humbled to think that my words are meaningful to anyone other than myself, and I appreciate the comments that folks have made from time to time. I began this journey to help me, but I am so happy to know that my words have had an impact on the lives of others as well.

Re-reading my blog entries was a really emotional experience. I didn’t remember much about my blogging days. I didn’t remember how many I’d written or what the topics were that I’d chosen. I was brought to tears by some of the things I’d written, and encouraged by my own words about things that are still challenging me to this day. It was like reading letters from myself to myself, and learning from the perspective they provided.

Mostly, I was floored by how open and honest I was about my life and all its challenges, especially in such a public forum. I bared my soul in really significant ways and I offered my thoughts and opinions on some pretty heavy stuff. I may have offended some folks or made them see me in ways they didn’t want to see me. I may have confused some who saw me in a particular light and were uncomfortable with my words and what they revealed about me. This blog was not intended to do any of that. I simply wanted and needed an outlet for my thoughts, feelings, and opinions. I needed a place to park some of the bigger clutter in my head. I needed to tell on myself and give others the opportunity to share their stories with me. I needed to write my way through my own confusion and come to a freedom I couldn’t reach living only inside my own head. I needed a witness. As I’ve said before, we all need a witness.

So… Now what?

I have no idea where I go from here. I’m afraid I won’t be able to live up to the first round of blog posts I did — the last one being just over two years ago. I suppose I need only build on what I’ve already written and just continue to live in each moment as I document it. Just write what you know, Lisa. Just tell the truth as you know and see it. Take the first step and have no fear. Step out on faith as you have so many times before. Be you and be real. Let the chips fall where they may.

I hope that someone will read this and be glad I’m trying to make my way back to writing. I hope my words will have meaning to someone other than me. I hope my thoughts will inspire and help others on their journey through this crazy thing we call life.

I still, after everything, have hope.

I’ll see you all again soon. Much love.