There is a page floating around that really resonated with me. It's titled 20 Brutal Truths About Life No One Wants to Admit.
Go read it. It's pretty good, actually no, it is amazingly on point.
There's an awful lot in this article that had me shaking my head, and yelling, "YES!" at least four times to the computer screen.
In particular, #'s 1, 5, 13 and 15. Those were the best ones. Let's talk about these four, in particular, because they dovetail nicely with some things I've been pondering for a long, long time now.
1 - You're going to die and you have no idea when.
Oooooooh, boy. This one. Almost every day, I say to myself, "Is this the day? Is this the outfit I'll be wearing when I die? Will I be doing something that will make me look terrible to those I've left behind? Will I know it's coming? Will I see the car that hits me, feel the pain of whatever happens, will I know at that moment that this is the end?
I'm so fun to take to parties.
Seriously, though, none of us knows the date and time, but we all know that we are marching towards the end. It's not like a road trip, in which we can plan to pull over ahead of the needed exit to brush our hair and freshen our makeup - so we've got to be ready at any given moment. Live life the right way. (Which explains why the husband and I are in the process of having our wills rewritten. Tell me THAT'S not a fun time.)
Which leads me to this thought I have, almost every day: What am I doing to make sure that I'm living my life the way I want to live it, leaving the trail behind me that I want to leave, and being the best me I can be? Most days, I'm thankful I get another chance, because for damned sure this day wasn't the one I wanted to end on.
5 - Donating money does less than donating time.
Well, thank goodness for this, because I don't have the money to donate. Seriously, though, I'm always perturbed when I attend events my kids are in - concerts, school events, etc - and there is an entire list of people who've donated monies at different levels. We both work very, very hard and make a decent living, but there is never enough to do the things I want to do, kwim? If I could donate to every cause I wanted to, that'd be awesome - but since I can't, I donate myself. (Which, hi, some people may not want, but too darned bad.) I get it - every event, every function, every facility needs money to operate - but every event and facility and function also needs people to run their events and functions and facility. I firmly believe that volunteering your time is the rent you pay as a human being. Help out. Help when and where you can.
Now, that doesn't mean you say yes to everything, and it doesn't mean you fill your time with things you hate. I enjoy funeral ministry, so I volunteer for that. Running the raffle - nope, not on my list. I like donating food to the food pantry and bake sales for fundraisers and such - I'm not so hot with the actual business solicitations.
Everyone has a strength, so maximize it. But every one of us has time to share.
13- Nobody cares how difficult your life is, and you are the author of your life's story.
OUCH. This one, a lot. I know that I sometimes, ok, maybe more than sometimes, like to complain, to let people know how HARD my life is, how I'm being put down by THE MAN, how I'm not getting those things I feel are coming to me. I complain and complain - and I see and hear other people doing the same. But what I tell my kids OFTEN, and repeat to myself DAILY - this isn't the PAIN OLYMPICS. Everyone has a hard time with stuff. Everyone. All of us are struggling in one way or another. And if you can't afford to do a big birthday party for your kid, or graduation trip, or buy that new sofa you've had your eye on - it's a sure and certain disappointment to you, and maybe those other people who live in your house - but it really doesn't affect the casual people in your life, and maybe - they don't need to hear about it.
AND THIS ONE IS HARD. This one, it burns, when you read it, and you puff up with all of the righteous angst and say to yourself, "They are MY FRIENDS. Of COURSE they want to know about my life, and how I'm struggling, and I just have to tell someone!" I struggle with this, so hard. So, so much with the daily struggle. When someone says, "How are you?" - is it a social question or do they really and truly want to know how awful you feel your life is and how defeated you feel and how nothing ever seems to go your way? Maybe. Maybe not. Only you know for sure. Why are you sharing it? Are you sharing because you are genuinely flummoxed in how to handle something, or, maybe - are you sharing because you want their pity and their admiration and you really want to hear,"I just don't know how you do it!"
Only you know that. (My computer just corrected that to MATH, and that cracked me up, because Math and I haven't been close since high school, when he left me at the prom.)
Only you know why you are sharing and you are the only one who can decide when and how to share. And that author of your own life stuff? TOTALLY TRUE. The author? The author is in CHARGE, is in CONTROL - and you get to decide how to want to present yourself and how you want to be perceived. Not getting the respect you feel you deserve? REWRITE your scenes! Put a spin on it. Those people you admire? They work hard to be admirable. To live in a way that is uplifting and encouraging and to be worry of admiration.
And the other thing I can promise about the Pain Olympics? Someone, indeed, always has it worse - and you don't know what life has in store for you.
I am CONSTANTLY working on this. I haven't gotten better at it, but I promise, I'm trying.
15 - Investing in yourself isn't selfish, it's the most worthwhile thing you can do.
Love yourself first, before anything else. Make sure you get enough sleep, you eat well and appropriately, you wear sunscreen and your seatbelt and your helmet. Do something every day, just for you. Read more . Wear clothing that is well fitting and flattering. Drink water - more water than anything else. Visit your doctor and if you need medication to live or function or be healthy, there's no shame in that game. Exercise. Get a hair cut and color your hair - if you want, if it makes you feel good. Spend time with friends. Dance.
You are worth the time and effort, and if you don't do for yourself, why should anyone else? The way you treat yourself shows others how you should be treated, and how you will treat them if and when you become friends. You are a person worth friending, so friend yourself.