We all know what it feels like to be overwhelmed and immobilized by ‘stuff’ coming at us. Whether it is when life stacks too many down events on us, such as a parade of 100 hundred degree days mixed with severe drought or an invasion of ants or a breakage of a favorite object or misplacing something treasured or just the sheer fatigue of trying to manage more with less, we can get a case of the feel-bads or the whim-whams or the heebie-jeebies, and think that the rest of life is going to continue being just like that, only more of the same.
What we forget, at those times, is the scent of daffodils in the spring or chrysanthemums in the fall, or how good cold watermelon can taste in the summer, or how much fun it is to hear children’s laughter. Or the pleasure of sinking into a really good book, so good we don’t want to stop reading it and go to bed, even though we’re fighting sleepiness. Or how much fun a family meal can be when everyone is sitting around the table, hunger sated, still engrossed in conversation. Or going to a movie and sensing that everyone in the theater is totally engrossed and the enjoyment is truly communal. Or strolling through the museum and finding one’s self surprised and connected to an amazing work of art. Or hearing a new song with delight, or the riff of an old favorite that one has forgotten. So many extraordinary experiences happen to us and yet we don’t always stop to relish the fact when it’s just one wonderful experience after another, but let us have a chain of small disasters and we’re feeling downtrodden. Now we’re not talking here about the truly horrific events such as serious illnesses and natural disasters. We’re just talking about the miseries of ordinary, everyday c**p.
Well, what works for me, at least most of the time, is to remind myself, as frustrated and exhausted as I can be with a too-long series of problems, that around the corner and down the street, something wonderful may be on its way. No guarantees, of course, nothing totally extraordinary like winning the lottery, or even losing five pounds, although one can always, always hope. But maybe a little rain?