At least I hope it’s good

I only ever really wanted to be two things, an athlete and a writer.  I’ve done a lot of other things, some good and some bad.  Some I’ve done well and some I’ve done poorly.  I’ve known that I wasn’t cut out for some of them before I started and some I’ve found that out later.  I’ve let some go easily and some I’ve held on to (and are still holding on to) far too long.  Some, like being a father and a husband, I never really knew I wanted to be but when I did them I found they were the most rewarding, life-changing and growth-forcing things I have ever done.  The twists and turns I’ve lived through still continue to surprise even an over-analytical mind like I lug around most days.

Some days I regret the things that have gone badly or I wish I hadn’t wasted the time doing them.  However, I know without those wrong turns I would never have ended up where I am right now.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in some sort of utopian state but in comparison to some places I’ve been both physically and mentally, I’m not too bad.  Am I where I want to be?  No, certainly not.  I have goals and dreams and a picture in my head of where I should be and what I should be doing.  I don’t have a rigid plan.  (It’s not in my nature.  But don’t think I don’t realize that works against me sometimes) I’ve learned rigid plans don’t usually go well.  But they do give us something to come back to, don’t they?

I try to keep things simple.  I address what arises with a smile and a confidence that because of all the crap I’ve gone through and survived I can tackle what life dishes up on a daily basis.  Some things, death, disease, cruelty, despair and for me personally, depression, sometimes knock me back a ways.  I’ve learned to allow them to take their shots.  I’ve learned to allow myself to feel the body blows they deliver.  And I’ve learned I can heal up from the onslaught.  I’ve learned to allow myself to admit when something whips my ass.  I know I won’t stay down for long.

If there’s anything I could impart to you today it’s this:  Give yourself some grace.  Give yourself some time.  Give your mind and your body the chance to absorb the tough stuff, work through it, deal with it and at least try to understand it.  It’s all part of life, whether we’re all that happy about it or not.  And as you’re trudging through the hard stuff, don’t forget your friends, your family, even your co-workers and acquaintances.   They are there to support you.  There’s really no greater feeling than knowing you helped someone.  So let them help you.  They don’t have to fix it and maybe they shouldn’t even try, but you should know, you need to know; you’re not alone.  Give them the opportunity to reach out to you and if you’re on the other side of the equation, offer your shoulder.  We all need to lean or cry on one once in a while.  It’s what we’re here for after all, isn’t it?  Be kind.

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