Thursday, October 09, 2008

A rare moment of philosophy.

Don't worry, I'm sure it will pass.

So many of my friends and family are going through rough times right now; family strife, all sorts of kid problems (and lack of kid problems), terminal illness, you name it. I wish I had a jet plane so I could fly around hugging everyone who needs it. But the only tiny bit of comfort I have to offer is this.

You don't grow emotionally, learn compassion, kindness, or otherwise become a good person, when your life goes smoothly. You learn those things when all hell is breaking loose in your life, and you realize just how bad things can suck, and after that, you can look at the situations of other people and maybe eke out a little kindness you didn't have before. (I have been told I am kind. I'm not sure I am, but if so, it's because life beat it into me.) That's a good thing. Though my reaction to rough times these days is often "Oh great. Another goddamn life lesson. I should be fucking enlightened by now."

Swearing also helps, I find. And throwing dishes. But the dish-throwing can get expensive.

Every time I think I've made peace with issues in my life, the universe seems to turn around and take a bite out of my ass just for the fun of it. Raising the Goob is in some ways horribly difficult because it makes me miss my mother so much, and rakes up old issues with my father that really are unsolvable. Maybe that's the goddamn life lesson I get with this round; acceptance.

And so we age, and we live through the rough times, and learn to value the good times all the more, and maybe edge a tiny little baby step closer to nirvana/fulfillment/enlightenment/heaven/peace/knitting everything out of silk.

Everybody together now. Repeat after me. "Oh goodie. Another goddamn life lesson." Hugs and hard cider, all around.


amy said...

I am looking forward to the hard cider. No less than the Yarn Harlot herself emailed me to explain exactly how it was okay for me to have a beer while breastfeeding. Damn, I love knitters.

I've been told I'm insightful and have the ability to parse out why people behave the way they do, and find some empathy, even when they're making ME miserable in the process. I'm sure it's because life beat it into me.

And I hear you on missing mom/issues with dad. It's always in the back of my mind, and I hope I don't fall apart postpartum in the hospital.

Bells said...

Shit. I wrote a whole reply and blogger ate it. Trying again.

I had a moment of such clarity recently when a younger girl, who has no reason to be worrying, said she is terrified of finding out that she has to go through IVF, or that she will miscarry.

I said to her that these things have happened to me and I'm here to tell the tale, and I'm ok. Not great, but ok.

So while I'm not exactly grateful for the experience, far from it, I'm making the most of what life is dishing up to me and, in a word, surviving. Maybe even learning. About myself, my relationship/s and what I can live through.

And I'm knitting A LOT.

Nice post.

mandy said...

I totally agree, but I could do with a few less life lessons lately. Some days, I just want to cry when I think that this might really be as good as it gets. And other days, I want to cry because it really couldn't get any better.

Barbara said...

Gee, and I was trying so hard to give up swearing;) I think you are right, it helps, so why give up something that works! Big HUG!

Terby said...

Cheers. Pass the cider. I started a new sweater.

Amy Lane said...

Hugs backatcha-- and hard cider too.

NeedleTart said...

Take about a cup of the not-hard-yet cider and warm it on the stove while you: Slice an orange, cut one of the slices in half and poke three cloves in it (store the rest for another day), cut a lemon in quarters (store the rest with the left over orange). In a very large cup, mix some brown sugar, maple syrup, butter and a cinnamon stick. Just before you pour the cider in add a shot (more or less) of rum. Enjoy! It does wonders for *my* blood pressure.

Allison said...

I once sent my sister a little quote that said God didn't send us more than we could manage -- her response was that she wished he didn't have so damn much confidence in her.

I haven't found that swearing has helped much. In fact it often seems to just raise my blood pressure even more. Hasn't stopped me from trying on a regular basis though.

Pass the apple jack and where's my knitting?

historicstitcher said...

I used to think that all the crap we get throw was to prepare us for some future "task" - that we had lessons to learn from every experience, and if we didn't learn them, we'd have to keep re-taking the lesson (seemed to explain a lot, including all the folks who keep making the same bad decision over and over - they haven't learned the lesson and can't move on to the next one).

As I've gotten older, all I can think is Damn, I must have some moster freaking-huge task in my future! Because the training has been rough!

Pass the hard cider. I need it! Hugs right back at you!

Donna Lee said...

I,too, believe that whatever life throws at me, it must be because I need to learn a lesson. I admit that I am not always open to it at the time and it's often long after that I realize what I got out of a situation. I am in continual awe of the amount of things I have left to learn. Way more than just one lifetime will accomodate.

Alwen said...

As one of my brothers emailed me when a second beloved dog was hit and killed by a car "...sometimes it feels as if a giant load of pig shit has just been dumped onto your lap".

I figure out any lessons much later. After I've struggled out from under the pile.

walterknitty said...

I had a friend who said life was like getting pulled by a meat hook through a knot hole. Just when you are through one oh, look there is another knot hole. Hearing what you said makes me want to hug you too.

Louiz said...

Oh yeah! Pass the cider and I'll pass you back some scrumpy - see if it matches up to apple jack!