Thursday, July 8, 2021

Just Because There's a Knock, Doesn't Mean You Have to Answer

 I heard a quote a few weeks ago.  Per usual, I feel like there is a need for transparency here.  I wrote this post once a few weeks ago but didn’t love it and didn’t post it.  This is a second run at it, so instead of “I heard a quote today”, it’s “I heard a quote a few weeks ago”.

“You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore for you to decide to be happy”

It struck a chord a little harder than I’d like to admit. 

The purpose of these blog posts is to give my girls a little bit of guidance as they get older.  I suppose that I need to peel back the proverbial curtain of myself every once and a while. 

The last year has been rough.  Maybe it’s the lockdown.  Maybe it’s the four-foot commute from my bed to my desk.  Maybe it’s the weight I’ve put on or the reclusive lifestyle I found a way to pull off despite living in a house with five people.  Regardless of what it is, I’ve been down, like Chrystal Pepsi down.

I’ve hidden it as best possible from the girls, but I know there have been times when the mask slipped.  Maybe I should be more honest with them, but we’ve all dealt with so much over the last year.  In reality, the last year has done a lot to all of us but the biggest thing it’s done to me is to make me feel helpless, maybe a little weak.

“You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore for you to decide to be happy”

The person who said this quote is struggling with cancer and was offered a 2% chance of survival.  She doesn’t look at the ninety-eight percent that stands in her way, she embraces the strength of that 2%. 

I guess life is all about that 2%.

I had dinner with my stepbrother over the weekend.  He has an unrelentingly optimistic view of me, one that sometimes feels both unearned and unattainable.  While unearned, being with him recharges my batteries.  I see a lot of younger me in him and I like being able to offer pathways through the potholes that I so frequently stepped in.  One of the things we discussed over dinner was gratitude. 

Perhaps when life seems content to leave a bag of poo on your porch maybe it’s fair to just not answer the doorbell.  Maybe it’s better to look at the Honor Roll Avery made, or the soccer teams the girls all made. Maybe peek at the tough half marathon Adrienne just ran and the growth she and you girls have done over the last year. 

The lesson here, girls?  I suppose it’s as much for me as it is you.  Happiness, in large part, is a decision.  It is often easier to answer the doorbell and its fecal package.  It’s a doorbell, its what’s expected of you.  It’s easy to spiral and think of the world as something that is conspiring against you.  It’s simple to let it compound and blind you to the good things. 

I know it’s easy. 

I’ve been doing it effortlessly for quite a little while. 

“You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore for you to decide to be happy”

Life will always be hard.  There will always be things that don’t go your way.  There will always be loss and even grief.  Life, like it or not, is short.  Something I forget, more often than I’d like to admit, it that life is too short to get caught up in the smelly bag on the porch.