Saturday, July 18, 2009

Today, we're going to the beach. The Husband doesn't know yet. I haven't told him. But, we are going. I've made up my mind. I'm thinking Carlsbad. Here's a post card picturing the flower fields that grow out there, I have no idea if they will be blooming today, or what we'll encounter, but we'll take pictures. The Husband is quite the photographer. Whatever you're doing on this glorious summer day, I hope you go outside and have FUN.

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ruminating This Wednesday

I hated to see three of my children deal with a big disappointment last evening, (nothing so horrible in the grand scheme of things, but disappointing nonetheless), and seeing them so deflated reminded me of my journey through the minefields of my own disenchantments. How it can sting when you were so sure that you were just about to grab hold of that brass ring, but missed. Ah…what a downer, what a bummer, what a blow! Such setbacks trigger one of three responses, from me anyway: either I curl up and make like a roly poly bug to hide for a while as I do my best to recover, or I pretend that I didn't care all that much and bury my resentment, or the more healthy route, shake it off and try, try again.

During this little exercise I’ve done my best to remember my first go round with disappointment. I remember being shocked when I learned that the vegetable garden died out in the fall. I remember freaking out when Mama tried to explain that I’d outgrown my sundress and my little sister would now be wearing the lovely frills, instead of me. I stormed off and hid in the basement, trying to watch myself grow, studying my hands and feet intensely. My first major disappointment, in kindergarten I performed and nobody came to watch. To add insult to injury the teacher had to stand outside the school with me for a good half hour before anybody showed up to take me home. Add to the list: my mother throwing my father out of the house, losing to my nemesis in the spelling bee after practicing so hard, my father going back on his word to put me through college, rejection letters from editors or agents, and the list goes on and on. 

Naturally, moving right along, as we age the magnitude of our defeats and letdowns intensifies. We learn to shrug off what doesn’t work out, we learn to brush the little buggers aside, and we better learn to prioritize. If we don’t, we will surely suffer, bogged down by resentment and cynicism.

I have encountered days where I felt as if I might succumb to the downward pull of despair over what could have been, weeping over what has fallen away. But, most days I do my best to battle doubt and despair. Reminding myself to be grateful for what I have and not to dwell on what I have lost.

You can easily spot those that have given in. All you have to do is to look past their armor and deep into their eyes to see that they have thrown in the towel.

All this ruminating reminded me of an outstanding quote from one of my favorite writers:

The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good, and the very gentle, and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too, but there will be no special hurry.” ~~ Ernest Hemingway

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.