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The Year of the Struggle

If God only gives you what he thinks you can handle, he must think I am an indestructible bad ass.

This year has sucked and we are barely a third of the way through it.  I started the year off using non-threating words like  “challenge” and “set back”.   My vocabulary then included “fun” – the sarcastic version – and “F&%king Fantastic!!”.  The pnemonia we’ve gone through twice with my son?  Just a challenge.   The multiple visits to the pharmacy for pinworm medication?  Ah, just a set back!  Pinworms again?  FUN!!  Then the challenges and set backs began to appear one after the other.   When it rains in our household, it seems that it pours cats and dogs.

Let me wallow in my own self-pity for a moment.  My husband found himself short of breath one day and since then it has been a whirlwind of doctor’s visits, tests and anxious days dragging on as we await the results.  Now he’s scehduled for an Angiogram.  Take it from me – researching any procedure on the internet is a BAD idea.  And don’t forget the bills that follow.  More stress.  The boy?  Pneumonia for the second time, six doctor’s visits (check/recheck/check again) and a full panel of blood tests.  Again, dealing the agony of waiting for tests results, always thinking the worst as I tend to do.  Oh, don’t let me forget about the lice. Lice visited my daughter and our household for a very brief (thank goodness) time.  Not. Fun. At. All.  I was embarrrassed.  Everything out there says it can happen to “anyone”, but I was mortified.  Just when we thought we had escaped any ridicule, the other children and shockingly some of the mothers decided they would whisper about it and who gave it to who.  My daughter was the recipient of this lovely gift, not patient zero, if we really want to set the record straight.  Don’t forget me!  A multi-car accident that totaled my car and sent me to the emergency room for a few scary hours on St Patrick’s Day of all days.  Yay!!  Insurance companies to deal with and collision reports to gather?  Double Yay.  “F&%king Fantastic!!” year so far, right?  Have I whined and complained enough?

And yet there is probably someone reading this thinking, “Really?  That’s nothing compared to what I have going on!”, and they are right.

I want to whine and complain and have someone feel sorry for me if only for a few minutes.  Life is so tough.  I’m dealing with so much!!!  This year has sucked!!!  Waaaahhh!!!!   But then I look around and realize it has for everyone, and for some much worse than for me, it pulls everything into sharp focus.  We all have struggles.  We all have bad stuff happen to us and worries that can consume us if we let them.   Some struggles we see others go through, others are very private and we never know about.  Some concern us and others concern those that are the closest to us. Some, probably most, are much much greater than mine.

What gets us through are the blessings we do have.  Sounds cliche but its so very true.  We have to cling to what we have to make it through the crappy times.  Maybe that is the reason for our struggles – to remind us that we do have so much even when life looks the darkest.

Our families who hold us up and show us that there is someone out there that can help us get through it.  Mine have helped with the kids, done research on our various ailments (thanks, Dad for all of those WebM.D. articles), or simply called to check in to make sure we haven’t completely lost our sanity.

Our friends who still love us even when we do compain about how much our lives suck and how hard it is to get through each day.  My coffee dates with my girlfriend from high school have been, some weeks, the only positive appointment written down on my calendar and frankly my reason for living.

Our jobs that sometimes become our escape from our home realities.  Sitting at my desk and crunching numbers distracts me, even if only for a short time.

Those around us who show us that there are struggles greater than our own and who also show us that we will somehow survive it all and that it could be worse.

I’ll survive this and will be ready when the next “challenge” comes my way.  Maybe I am a bad ass after all.

(Incredible Artwork provided by the very talented Jessi Olarsch. For commissions please inquire at  [email protected]  and for prints please visit www.society6.com/jessioart )

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