This summer’s weather has been stellar, like seriously amazing, the stuff of storybooks. We never got any really hardcore heat waves. There weren’t a ton of rainy weekends (because I’m pretty sure it rained every single weekend last summer) and many nights were cool enough to shut down the AC and let in the fresh night air. It was beautiful and perfect, on so many levels. But can I just say, August has been a total ass, y’all.
I overheard one of my kids telling a friend that God was out to get our family. As an agnostic, I can’t really get behind that notion, but that may give you some perspective into our last couple of weeks, from the eyes of a child. We’ve been tested for sure, but I’d like to think we passed.
Because all I have to do is turn on the news and I am overwhelmed by how much pain there is in this world. I am inundated with war and starvation, flooding and disease, hate and vitriol. Reports of death and loss roll in like an angry sea bent on destruction. And that’s before I’ve even had my damn coffee.
Then I remember that we have a roof over our heads. Our bellies are always full (except when I forget to make dinner but listen, they are all capable of feeding their own selves. Not sure why that shite always falls to me). We have our health. My kids are pretty amazing and seriously, I have the best family and friends anyone could ever ask for. Ever. I mean, I didn’t prefer for my summer to end the way it did, but the fact is, I’m a tremendously blessed woman. And that’s what I chose to take away from this summer, flying bags of flaming dog crap and all.
I’m not saying that I didn’t take a little time to whine/wine (they’re complementary, in case you didn’t know). But that’s where I chose to leave it. A little venting, a little pity party with my besties, a more-than-little glass o’ wine, then it’s time to be done. Then it’s time to put on the big-girl panties and not let that shite keep me down. Because my worst day is still better than some people’s best days. Because my worries are such that I can take the time to overthink all the ways I’m failing everyone around me, while there are moms out there just trying to keep their babies alive. Like, actually trying to keep their babies from dying. When you put it like that, it seems full-on heartless to complain about a cracked car bumper, ya know?
I read a study once about how social media is detrimental to society because people only put their best faces forward. This leaves others to compare themselves, often coming up short and therefore convincing them that they’re failures. The result is depression and a distorted sense of what we’re all really going through each day.
I am so freaking glad I am not friends with any of these people. My tribe is real as hell and we show all the warts, thigh dimples, and tantrum-ing kids that you’d care to see. But the best part about all of it is how it brings us together. No one is better than, and also no one is worse than. We don’t try to one-up each other’s misery. I used to know someone who would take your venting session and turn it into a my-struggles-are-worse-than-yours battle. You know the type. You say, “I stubbed my toe,” and they respond, “Oh? Well, I have an ingrown toenail and my doctor said if he can’t fix it, they’re going to cut off my foot.”
These people are a scourge on society and take away all the joy in girlfriending. You should kick them to the curb. Besides, that kind of negativity is contagious. You start thinking things like, “If I tell her I have a toothache, she’s going to come back with a root canal. Maybe I’ll just say I’m going blind.” Moving away from that friendship was like losing 116 pounds of emotional misery.
My current collection of perfect misfits knows how to laugh at themselves and pretty much everything/one else, too. Because life can be a real S.O.B. We don’t need to further the misery agenda by buying tickets to the show. Sure, sometimes it’s hard, or damn near impossible, to see any light at the end of the freaking tunnel. But if you don’t close your eyes, it’s there.
An amazing tribeswoman of mine recently posted a meme that said, “The same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg. It’s about what you’re made of, not the circumstances.” Though the Irish girl in me totally balked at the suggestion that the potato is somehow weak, I had to look past that to the moral of the thing. Though I am admittedly easily swayed by inspirational quotes, think about that. That’s some Yoda-esque shite right there.
So August sucked. It was like a selfish little Gremlin that I fed after midnight AND got wet. Whatever. In the end, all those little bastards died. And here I am, surrounded by some of the best things in the whole world. I refuse to let the misery consume me. I refuse to drown in my own pity. I refuse to care about the Kardashians (but that’s another story, altogether).
What I’m trying to say is, this whole life thing is pretty OK. Sure, sometimes it kicks you in the arse and laughs while you fall face first. But we get to write the majority of our story and, therefore, we get to choose the theme. Do you really want yours to be a drama? Sure, they’re memorable, but crying makes your face swell and besides, tissues are kind of expensive. Plus, everyone loves a comedy. For real.
One of my favorite movies of all time is The Princess Bride. It’s actually a rom-com-dram-action thing, so that obviously makes it better than everything else. And plus Mark Knopfler did the soundtrack. Do I have to keep writing? Go. Buy it. And enjoy this preview while you wait for Amazon to deliver it to your door (if you haven’t already seen it, which is kind of inconceivable).