The one thing I have come to realise about life is that there are countless lessons. A never ending journey on a learning curve. Just when you think you've aced all the curve balls life can throw you it digs deep into its reservoir of experience and hurls you another one. One that comes at you so fast it knows the air out of you and you find yourself face forward on the ground gasping.
The good thing however is that forget the innumerable times you've found yourself in this predicament, the FACT that you find yourself again in such state tells you that you survived the last onslaught, you picked yourself up, dusted off and went looking for the next curve ball life could muster or conjure for its amusement.
My family has had quite the year. In May dad lost a leg the lower right leg to diabetes, this post losing some toes a year earlier to the same. The recent death in the family meant more than just the end of a life. It also meant the survivors of that life had to now come to terms with the past we've kept so well hidden.
Then the latest in the series of curve balls was mom's sudden health issue and how in a span of 3 weeks everything went from "Oh ok. Go see a doctor ma" to "OH HELL! keep calm and let's see what the doctor says ma" to "Ma just go into this surgery knowing it's all going to be well" to "It went well and now next step forward".
Then I have to take a look around and notice the lives around me. All seem to be experiencing one thing or another. Talking and sharing sometimes helps put perspective into the challenges. Helps define and determine the approach to resolving these endless cycles.
More importantly is what lessons do we derive from these trials and challenges and what changes do we make to our lives in order to rise above all of these with courage and sanity intact.
Every time life starts to knock the wind out of me, I think of Mitch Albom's books that I have read. Some take heed from the lessons of the book, some dislike the style in which he writes and toss the book into the read but not impressed pile.
I remember some distinct points from each book which reading in my late 30s helped me cope with some of the past I was struggling coming to terms with.
Tuesdays With Morrie - I cannot remember who suggested that I pick this book up but I don't regret doing so. I made me reassess how I wanted to live my life. Did I want to be trapped in my own sorrows and miss the simple pleasures life has to offer or did I want to make an indelible difference in the world by just making the best of each day I was given. I guess you might say I picked the idea of the latter. However having been always the proverbial worry wart who imagines problems for situations even before arriving at the said, this is a huge turnaround from character. I am pleased to inform you the change is gradual but happening.
Five People You Meet In Heaven - I picked this up soon after TWM cause I liked it so much. This book somewhat emphasised the "do unto others as you would others unto you" and that in living life, we constantly come in contact with strangers and our actions knowingly or unknowingly may cause them to react in situations beyond their common sense. Be good to all we meet, we never know their real stories behind the facades they display to the world at large.
Have A Little Faith - A Rabbi and an ex-con turned Pastor. What complete opposites. And yet what a journey of faith they take you on. How God works in mysterious ways. I have always held on to the belief that we are all heading to the same God, just by different paths. Does not make anyone more or less important in the eyes of God. It is we mortals that seem to qualify each others importance before God's eyes. Stop, prove to be the beacon in your actions and be a reflection of what faith is about.
One More Day - is a hard book to accept, because it involves the central character's one day with his dead mother, going about day to day things like she was alive - a fantasy to most catching and making amends with a deceased loved one. Revisiting the hurts, the betrayals, the unspoken. But in a nutshell the lesson is we need to forgive ourselves, our transgressions and transgressors and also our past in order to heal and be whole for our present and futures.
I would suggest to everyone to spend a little time going through the 4 books and sharing with me their thoughts of the ideas and concepts of life they may have gleaned from those pages.
I've told myself love to myself for who I am. Imperfection is me but I am still uniquely me. My children may be the result of a now defunct marriage but they are my children my precious ones to mold with the right attitudes towards life. As their mother it is my duty to rise above my own past failures and follies and from those lessons teach them to live more fulfilling lives both beneficial to themselves and to society. Positive confident girls who spread love cheer goodwill and hope to all who may come in contact with them - this is my fervent hope. And more importantly, that they learn failures are not the end of the road but the possibility of other beginnings supplemented by the knowledge of what failure brings and the lessons to be learnt from such.
I keep reminding myself when things get tough, life's a learning curve, always a lesson to be found from each misadventure or success and with some eloquence I hope to share these lessons and insights in overcoming the many hurdles and curve balls I've gone through. 40 is quite the library of experience and in sharing perhaps we might make the experience less daunting for others.
Happy Trails my netizens ...