I haven’t been here in a long time. I could tell you that I’ve been really, really busy, and that would be true. I think the truer explanation, though, is that I’ve been in a bit of a funk. But today I’ve decided to use this blog to send myself a message. I’ll put it in bullet points, just so it’s clear:
- Sometimes your back hurts.
- Sometimes you can’t sleep.
- Sometimes your kid drives you crazy.
- Sometimes you have to work more than you want to.
- Sometimes, there are endless dishes to wash and far too many messes to clean up.
- Sometimes there are squirrels in the attic and mice in the basement, the refrigerator dies and the plumbing blows up — and no one (except maybe your mother) feels sorry for you.
- Sometimes responsibilities you don’t want get dumped in your lap.
- Sometimes you have problems you can’t fix.
- Sometimes people are not what you wish they would be.
- Sometimes you are not what you wish you could be.
- You are never going to have everything you want.
- There is never, ever going to be enough time.
- Your reward for surviving it all will be old age and death.
- AND THAT IS LIFE. SUCK IT UP!!!
I am tired of moping around, thinking that it’s not fair, that life is supposed be more fun. I’m tired of saying to myself, “What’s the point of it all, if I spend 90 percent of my time dealing with work and stress and chores and obligations and 10 percent having fun?” All of a sudden, it strikes me that, using this value system, the vast majority of life on earth would be worthless. How many people in Haiti spend most of their lives pursuing pleasure? How many in Mexico? How many in Detroit? How many, even, on my block? I wonder, do they cry to themselves, “I have to pick these crayons up off the carpet again? Why go on???”
Today, I vow to be grateful — that my family lives in safety and comfort, that I have people who love me, that I am able to give my child everything she needs, that I have work I believe in. I vow to be grateful that, from my own front porch, I can watch the clouds roll across the sky, see the fire-orange leaves blowing in the evening breeze and hear the cicadas singing in the night. I vow to be grateful that I that I live on a planet where life is so abundant that it springs up from every crack and crevice.
Fun is great, but it’s not what life is about. Life is about possibility, and about redemption. Every day, I have the chance to do something good. Every day, I have the chance to add something to the world. Every day, there is the possibility of joy, of love, of generosity. Every day, I can try to be better than I was before. And maybe today I will succeed.