It’s the Hard Knock Life

I always thought the song was called, “It’s a Hard Knock Life.” Google it. I promise–it’s “the”–not “a.”

And, now, just so you can sing along with me:

On a more serious note, I have been in the midst of trauma and turmoil for the last couple of months. While I won’t go into details (we all have our sad, dark, difficult moments), I would like to share with you a small bit of wisdom I have learned.

Life is hard.

Sometimes it’s harder than hard. And sometimes it just plain sucks.

Wait–let me backtrack a bit. I was a teenager once. Were you? Did we know each other? Maybe you will remember as I do that I wasn’t the happiest person. My favorite shirt had Eeyore (from Winnie the Pooh) on the front–you know, the character that is associated with lines like, “Tut, tut. Looks like rain”–that was me.


photo credit

I loved the rain. (Isn’t it romantic, and sad?) I loved nothing more than to turn on “Pictures of You” by The Cure or “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M. and watch the rain fall.

Then, I grew up a little, got a little less teen angsty, and decided that life was better in the sunshine. I worked hours on retraining the default settings of my brain to reflect on positive aspects of life. I began to count blessings instead of troubles. And I chose happiness.

(That’s probably the hardest part right now. Happiness evades me daily. I want it back, and I’m trying each moment of each day to choose it–but I get tired of walking down the staircase and reliving my baby’s fall, my legs shaking so much on the ambulance drive with him, thinking of myself in the front seat pleading with the driver to tell me about himself as a distraction from my little guy lying on a backboard while three EMTs tended to him, the sleepless days and nights in ICU that followed, and the fear of coming home and seeing it all happen again.)

Trauma is real. And I pray, but it’s still there. I read and study, but the pain aches in my chest, my head, my heart. I smile, and every once in a while, the smile feels sincere.

And even though we’ve had so many gifts and blessings (and he is healing), I pull my knees to my chest and cry–more often than I did as a fifteen-year-old.

And I am grateful. And I am smiling, softly, not with my lips but with my eyes, thinking of each of you–your friendship, support, and love.

And someday, when I tell myself that “everything will be okay,” the phrase will stop feeling like a lie. And everything will be okay (even though life will still be hard).

At least I’m learning, right?

Feelings…

I was a bit startled when I typed the title into the little box above where I am writing now that I had this flashback to the movie Big, where Tom Hanks (as the “big,” grown-up character of himself has to sing, “Feelings” for his mother in order to prove to her that her son is indeed okay).  Aren’t minds peculiar sometimes?

Through last week’s trauma experience (I use that term a little loosely–as in the experience was not life-threatening but indeed traumatic for me and our son and our family), I have remembered how I have dealt with trauma in the past:  I go into this place of numbness.  I shut down my feelings.  I think I’ve been practicing this behavior for many years.  And, I think the root of the feeling is fear.

Well–I would like to report a breakthrough.  Are you ready?  I’m not sure I am…but here I share anyway!

I allowed myself to feel.  I allowed myself to share with others my fear.  And I allowed myself to share my experience with others.

On Wednesday, (surgery day), I sat in the waiting room with a buzzer (similar to the one you may receive while waiting for a table at a crowded restaurant) for a moment without phone or book or watching the television on the wall.  I just sat still and processed the last few days, prayed a bit, and felt.  I took deep breaths.

And I started to cry.  My eyes welled up (though I didn’t let tears fall…I’m not that uninhibited…yet), and I felt the fear and the hope and the trust that all would work out for the best.

And, I’m happy to say that so far, it has.

Hugs!

Just the Right Moment

I am amazed as I have meandered in and out of your lives through a post here and a post there that I feel like I have been led into your living rooms and kitchens for a little chat…for you and me to share pieces of ourselves.  I have enjoyed your openness which has made me feel more welcome here, more like I belong.  Even though my mind has taken a bit longer than I would’ve wished to get back in the swing of writing and thinking and typing in a different paradigm following vacation and trauma modes, I have been met by new readers and lovely reminders that I can be imperfect yet lovable and perfectly myself.  Having said that, I would like to thank all of you and wish each of you well in your various spheres of life.  Even when your days become monotonous, you are still making a difference and have an important voice.

All my love and gratitude,
K. 🙂

Happy New Year!

I’ve missed being here in my own little corner of cyberspace!  I had intentions of beginning again when my little people started back to school, but an unexpected accident (are accidents always unexpected? Was that redundant?…I apologize…I’ve been through a bit of trauma in the last few days and am hoping to have my wits about me again before the end of the week…but who knows?)…anyway, I’ve been in and out of the ER, doc’s offices, and surgical center with someone in my life this week.  I’m looking forward to some peace and quiet (does that really exist?) soon.  Maybe.

So, I’ve been thinking since the opening of 2013 on the blessings I receive through the generosity of others and how recognizing their kindnesses gives me energy to go out of my comfort zone and bless the lives of others.

Take last week for example.  I spent one day having a friend and her children visit…and, while we chatted in the kitchen, she grabbed a rag and began wiping down my stove.  She inquired whether or not it would bother me (and it didn’t, so she continued).

We also were able to have dinner with some dear friends in their home.  They let our children meander through various activities (including helping with dinner and dessert preparations) while making our family feel welcomed, valued, and loved.  And my heart was full.

So, the next day, as I thought of a friend who was suffering with sickness in her home, I prepared a meal to take to her family.  I felt so happy and grateful to be able to spread around the kindness and feelings of love that had been recently extended to me.

As we have had this trauma experience as of late, I have continued to be grateful for the helping hands, encouraging emails or phone calls, and the prayers offered in our family’s behalf.  We have been blessed beyond measure through this experience.

I hope that 2013 finds you well and happily filling your days with love and light!  Sending hugs to you and yours! (I’ve missed you…and writing…and blogging…and hearing your stories!)