If I am being honest, there’s more times than I count that things don’t go my way.
I am sure you know what I am talking about, too.
I am not referring to those petty issues of not getting my way, like I don’t get to watch the reruns of “NCIS” because the game is on or I wanted Italian and everyone else wanted Mexican.
I am referring to those big deal, ginormous issues that explode out of nowhere and make you question your whole existence type of thing.
It seems like there’s times, no matter how hard you try, something goes wrong.
No matter how much I try to do some things, stuff happens and I feel like I am taking two steps back for every step ahead.
“I feel like I am in quicksand,” I said one day. Not to any one particular, mind you, just to myself.
Why? I am a good person, I whined.
I do the right thing. “I think I have some good karma piled up somewhere” is my argument.
But it sometimes feels like I am bombarded with circumstances I shouldn’t be.
I feel like I am sometimes a living Alanis Morissette song – not the angry at her ex-boyfriend raging one, but the one about life’s little bittersweet ironies.
“What do you need?” a friend asked once.
“A wailing wall – you know, a padded wall I can freely throw myself up against and scream and cry and kick and…”
“And wail.” That’s what it feels like on these occasions.
I have my fits, I am not proud of the fact, but I do. My Granny would have her fits too. She said it kept her from imploding to let the steam out instead of blowing like a pressure cooker.
I have had quite a few fits here lately it seems.
“It’s weeds, that’s all it is,” Mama said.
“Yes, weeds,” she replied. “You are letting these little pesky weeds crop up and spoil your garden, Kitten.”
“I don’t have a garden, Mama, literally or figuratively. I am just tired of feeling like I bust my tater all the time and things just go so dadblamed wrong.”
“Weeds,” she repeated. “You do have a garden – it’s called life. And every life has weeds. How you deal with them is up to you.”
I asked Mama where she came up with this weeds thing. “Joel Osteen. A lot of times, he’s preaching to you, you know.”
He may be. Someone needs to, I told her.
“Everyone has weeds, Kitten, everyone. Some people fake it better than others; your problem is you think you are the only one who goes through anything that’s yucky. You aren’t. You just seem to hone in on those weeds though more than you do the blooms.”
That was enough gardening talk for one day. And besides, Mama was getting too close to making sense and that scared me a little.
So there I was, in the middle of a glorious hissie fit, how life had thrown me a dozen lemons and forgot the tequila to go along with it and was just not how I thought it should be.
I’ve had this fit numerous times before – more times than I would care to count – so maybe they were weeds. They were as persistent as weeds could be.
Back to my fit. There I was, having my hissie, to the point I was inconsolable. I was beyond comfort food, cheesecake wouldn’t have made this seem better – everything seemed to be going wrong and it was something cheesecake wouldn’t fix. This was bad.
“Sweet girl, what is wrong?” my child asked.
I shook my head, not wanting to tell him. How do you explain to a child – who still has a lifetime of dreams and hopes ahead of him – that sometimes life is just not fair and your dreams may not only not come true but get stomped on, rolled up, battered and fried and thrown back in your face?
“Nothing,” I lied, wiping my face.
Cole didn’t believe me. “There is something, so tell me. Please.”
He looked at me with such sincerity and earnestness in his eyes, I knew he would persist until I told him. So I simplified it.
“Sometimes, I just get a bit overwhelmed, baby. I feel like life didn’t turn out the way I thought it would and have these issues, circumstances and whatnot pop up at the worst possible time. It’s just more than I think is fair sometimes.”
It sounded simple to me.
“How did you think life would be?” he asked quietly.
He nodded slowly. “What did you think would be better?”
“I don’t know. I thought it would be, I don’t know. Just … better. Easier, maybe, without so many struggles.”
My child smiled and put his hands on the side of my face.
His little voice cracked before he went on. “Mama, there’s people who have cancer, who are homeless … I know what you are feeling right now makes you feel like life is bad, when it’s not. There’s people who, no matter how bad you think things are, would gladly change places with you. Please, don’t let something that really won’t be a big deal tomorrow steal your joy from today. Just look at what you do have.”
“But I know this, Mama,” he continued. “The reason sometimes things seem so yucky is something really wonderful is about to happen. If you lose your faith, it can get you off track. Don’t let it – something awesome is about to happen. I know it.”
My little Minecraft, pig-loving philosopher was right. It was truly all about perspective. And faith. Sure, from where I sat things seemed pretty pitiful. Where someone else sat, their situation may be worse.
Mama called it weeds in my garden but my child put it in perspective. All I know is, if he’s right, about something awesome is about to happen, it’s gonna be huge.