survivingmiddleage

the ups and downs of life

There Are Times

There are times when I wonder about the complexities of life. I wonder why some people have it so easy while others struggle so much. I wonder if I will ever feel truly loved. I wonder if there will ever be a time when I feel like I am “home”.

I try to quiet my mind when it gets restless. I busy myself. Sometimes to the point of exhaustion. When I am too exhausted to do anything but sleep, I can finally rest. If I am only tired, my body can rest but my mind will not. It does as it pleases. It will replay events and scenarios over and over and wonder what I could have done or should have done differently.

I have to remind myself that we can only live in the moment and hope for a better future. We can only do our best. I cannot undo my past. I can only learn from it. I have made mistakes and will continue to do so. I am only human. I have to keep reminding myself that I am trying each day to be a better person

There are times I believe all of this. There are times I don’t. There are times when I feel 10 feet tall and bullet proof. There are times when I feel like crying for no reason. There are times I lose hope momentarily. Thankfully I have friends who raise me up during those times. Because there are times when I need them because I don’t know what to do.

There are times I just want a hand to hold because I need to feel like all is right in the world. Maybe one day.

Limited Time

I was talking with an old friend about people we knew growing up. We laughed and reminisced about old times. We got to thinking about so many friends. Of course this led to a Facebook search of some.

I had one person on my mind in particular. He was someone I had a crush on when I was in the 3rd grade. He was the sweetest boy who had a smile that would light up a room. He had eyes that would twinkle with mischief. He was just a really nice guy. I had wondered about him over the years, but never looked him up.

I kept combing through Facebook and couldn ‘t find him. I found his sister, though. I sent her a friend request and she accepted. I sent her a message and asked her about him. Her message back broke my heart. He passed away seven years ago.

I felt so bad for opening up a wound for her. I felt so bad for not telling Billy how much he meant to me through school. I felt horrible for not telling him I loved his laugh and how he always made me smile. I loved seeing all the mischief he got into. He made school fun. I loved when he called me over the summer of 3rd grade. I felt special. I wanted to tell him he was a big part of my childhood whether he knew it or not.

My heart hurt because of the early loss of someone who was so sweet and kind and funny. He was a good person. I didn’t know him in adulthood, but I am sure he was just as good.

I saw some pictures on her page and instantly knew the smile. It was the same smile as when he was a kid. It lit up the whole picture.

As I thought about what a special person he was, I thought how even though I was crying I was also smiling. Isn’t that a great thing? To think of someone with sadness that they’re gone, but with a smile because you knew them…I hope that when I leave this earth that some people will think of me that way.

I know Billy will never know that I miss not getting the chance to tell him how wonderful I thought he was. Make sure you tell people when you can how you feel. Tell them you care. Tell them you value them. You may never get the chance again.

Authenticity

How many of us are truly ourselves? Are we authentic with the people we interact with? Do we put on a fa├žade with people we speak with? Do we paint the smile on our faces…the one that never quite reaches our eyes?

Why is it that we feel the need to be so fake? Why can’t we be authentic? Why?! I just want to be Amy. When someone asks me how I am, I want to say, “Well, today hasn’t been the best.” And I want them to actually care. Or I want to say, “Today has been fabulous!” And I want them to ask, “Why?!”

Instead, when someone asks how we are, we typically put on our Barbie-smile and say, “Fine, thanks! And you?” And we expect the same pat answer in response so that we can move on with our day as if nothing happened. We can tell our friends and family that we saw So-and-So earlier and that they’re doing fine. But are they? Really?

Why not look at that person when you ask, “How are you?” and see what is happening in their face when you ask? Do their eyes look sad? Do they seem uncomfortable? When they tell you they’re fine, don’t let them off the hook so easily. Ask them, “Are you sure?” But only do this if there is genuine concern. If you don’t really care and only want to gossip, just say, “Good!” and keep it moving. But if by some miracle you do care, let them know!

We need more authentic people in this world. We need more empathetic and caring people! We need people to stop hiding their feelings and troubles. People need to be able to let things out and be heard. They need to release their hearts, feelings, anxieties and fears. If they keep it all inside, they become a ticking time bomb. Help them by just listening. You may be the person who needs that ear one day.

Friendships

When I came back home I was worried about being here alone. I was worried I would feel empty and scared in a place that had so many memories. I knew financially it was a good move. But what if I was going to be alone?

I began reconnecting with old friends. It is amazing how with some people it’s as if no time passed. I have some friends that I hang out with that it’s as if we’re 18 again. We laugh. We talk. We have cried.

I honestly don’t know what I’d do without these people. They have become the family I need. I love them beyond measure.

That’s what real friendship is. Family you’ve chosen. People who stand with you. People who love you just because. People who are your home. I’m blessed.

Isn’t It Funny

How when you think things are finally lining up that everything goes to shit? Yeah, I hate that. Things seem to be doing ok. And it’s like out of nowhere chaos happens. It can be your relationships, job, health, well being, etc. It can be all of the above.

So when the storm hits, what do you do? I’m usually someone who goes straight at the storm. Head on. Full steam ahead. Consequences be damned. Except sometimes that isn’t the best idea. Sometimes it involves people. Sometimes there are feelings involved. Sometimes you have to step back and consider someone else. It’s not always so easy to know what to do.

When there’s other people involved, it’s hard to know how far to go. Do you keep forgiving? Do you pursue them? Even when you know they’re the ones who have done wrong? When is it time to just give up? When is it time to let someone care about their actions toward you? When is it time to expect an apology?

With your health, there’s no way of knowing what to do except do your best. You do your best to try to take care of yourself. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. When/If something goes wrong, then you just deal with it the best you can. It’s all you can do.

Your job? Well, most of us have to have one. It’s a necessary evil in life. I certainly wish I didn’t. I love where I work but I would rather not have to work. I would love to spend my time and energy on the things I love rather than trying to just survive. I do my best to work in an environment that I feel comfortable in. When I have felt uncomfortable, I have left positions. Even when that was uncomfortable. It’s not easy.

As far as overall well being goes, well there is always something that is going to knock that right out of the water. Something will inevitably happen to change something. My best advice on that is just to take each day as it comes and pray for the best. I have been through a lot of ups and downs. Some of those have kept me down for a while. Thankfully I am stubborn and sometimes mean as hell. I get up swinging. I sometimes think that is the only way I have survived until this point.

The bottom line is that every aspect of your life will be affected at some point. There will be times when it all hits at the same time. Hopefully you will have family and friends to lean on. If not, learn to lean on yourself. It’s hard. Believe me. I know. Sometimes I have been my only friend. But when you know that you only have yourself to lean on, you learn a resilience that is hard to describe. You learn that you can take time to sit and cry as long as you wipe those tears and get back up and tell life to kiss your ass. You’re a fighter. You’re a survivor. You can do it!

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