Sh*t happens….then you die

DSC02410Is it really as bleak as that?  Is it that bad?

Well, yes and no.  Well, kinda.  I mean, well…

So here’s the thing, the truth of the matter is that yes you’re born, you blow out 5, then 10, then 40 candles.  And it happens that quickly.  There’s no getting around that.  And at times it can seem quite gloomy.  As a kid you have bullies, bad grades, illnesses, physical changes, mental changes, heartbreak, awkwardness, cliques, and that’s just the first week of middle school.  I won’t go on to the second week…it’s too horrifying.  But as an adult you have an equally challenging list of situations.  Mortgage, job, marriage, kids, flailing bank accounts, losing your identity from “you” to “mom”, “dad”, “wife”, “husband”, “minion”, “cog”.  There’s also maintaining relationships with people that you were tight with before kids.  Sometimes people just aren’t compatible with each other anymore.  They can’t find empathy for each others situations.  “So what your kid’s sick?  That’s why you have a wife at home…to take care of ’em.”  Such a simple solution, right?  Yeah, that’s where “empathy” comes in…or is supposed to come in.  Likewise when you hear about that childless friend and their fun night out till 2am, then sleeping in till noon.  You know what?  They just come off as obnoxious and you want to strangle them.  That’s no way to be, so it’s best to part ways before you become the asshole friend that lost their soul.

The last month or so has been what I’d refer to as “challenging”.  Lots of things have come up that as a family we’ve had to soldier through for the first time.  You know, put your head down, keep walking in a straight line, stay on course, all that crap.  You learn a lot about yourself in those situations.  You learn what you’re really made of, and how far you can be pushed before you stop taking those blows and just fall on your face.  I can say that I, nor anyone else in our little Midwestern universe ever once fell on their face.  Certainly some bruising, soul-searching, some anger and desperation thrown in for spice, but overall we kept on till the light shone at the end of the tunnel.  We’re not quite out yet, but we’re no longer chin deep in the sludge.

So, these past few weeks got me down to some low points before I got back up to some higher plains.  And in those doldrums you start thinking that this is it.  One moment you’re blowing out candles on a Boba Fett birthday cake, next your talking hospital beds, a loved ones impending doom, and your own livelihood at stake.  But once your past the doom and gloom you can look back with objective eyes.  You see that between the s**t that happens and the day the guy in the bright nightgown comes to take you for good, there’s an awful lot of good we tend to forget about when our view is from being flat on the floor.  Holidays with your parents, discovering the Beatles, late nights watching horror movies with a friend, falling in love, getting your drivers license, graduation, becoming a parent, taking your 4 year old to see The Spongebob Squarepants Movie on a Saturday afternoon, seeing Spoon in Chicago with the love of your life, that moment when you realize your kids truly understand sarcasm, and when your parents respect you just as much for being a great parent as a great son.  Well, you get the point.

There’s more dark times ahead I’m sure.  It’s just good to know I’ve got a household full of people I love unconditionally that are willing to take a few blows right along with me and still keep moving forward.

S**t happens and then you die.  But what happens in-between is what matters most.

7 Replies to “Sh*t happens….then you die”

  1. Yup, soot happens (I happen to know that * = ‘o’ … you can’t f**l me).

    It’s odd how all-consuming the darkness can seem when you’re in the middle of it and yet, later, it just comes across as a train passing through a tunnel, dark for a little bit but emerging with everything you had when you went in (unless you stuck your head out the window). That doesn’t mean the darkness isn’t real both in the moment and in retrospect.

    Of course, you knew that already, as wise as you are.


  2. Great post, J! I’m looking forward to crossing to the “other side”. I’m sick of Saturday nights ending in the wee hours of Sunday morning, with an imminent hangover and a desperate need for sleep (but I can’t because I have downed too many Red Bulls to keep me alert in the first place). It’s great to read that you’re so proud of what you’ve got – not enough people have their eyes wide open…


  3. Amen, brother. You are so right. Love *is* wealth. Unconditional support for one another *is* security. The middle *matters*.

    I have to listen to some Mahalia now. You’ve got me feeling all spiritual and wanting to sing.


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