Tears spar behind my eyelids, vying to be let out, to cascade in torrents of frustration, pathetic self-pity and had-enough-ness. My chest is crushed with the catch of breaths not taken deeply enough and I’m overpoweringly aware of just how much I have to be thankful for, and how much of an ungrateful, hypocritical wretch I am.
The chances are, if you hear something bad about me, there’s a kernel of truth in it. Perhaps more.
We all have flaws and disappointments-of-character, areas we wish we could sweep under the proverbial rug and pretend didn’t exist. One of my persistent ones seems to be a tendency to get overwhelmed with despair in the face of, arguably, a LOT of good and blessing and happiness. All it takes is something small to tip that balance and I’m swept off the edge of that cliff. Again. Doubtless to the slight eye-rolls of my nearest and dearest, by now. One small thing, or series of little whatevers, which mightn’t register on an ordinary person’s scale of ‘things which ripple’, that nonetheless reduce me to a toddler-like state of helpless fury and anger-turned-inwards.
Originally this hop began because I needed things to get me through to the next day. My focus on something good would provide validation for the worth in that day, as a stand-alone, and prove I should try again tomorrow. I listed my ten things, and my ten things, and my ten things, and people watched, joined in, got excited about the idea of gratitude as a practice – a ritual which would affirm the true GOOD in life.
Would it were that simple any more. These days it’s not the weight of the next day that I’m trying to mitigate and render worthwhile, but the next month, the next year, the rest of my life (I should be thankful to be alive).
Like the rest of everyone, I’ve no idea what it might hold. I’ve some idea of what’s coming up, though, and that accounts for a lot of the underlying ‘big things missing’, which mean the little things are enough to tip the balance, and me, over the edge. A big, sucky change at work (I should be thankful I have a job) coming up in springtime, badly handled, in ways which have left my team with a sour taste in their mouths. The prospect of never getting a visa (I should be thankful I can still visit) or being able to take the scholarship I have, because who knows, and *I* certainly haven’t heard anything.
I want to pursue training here, but the qualifications won’t transfer, and there’s no guarantee of work (I should be thankful I have the means to pursue training), added to which, the massage therapy scene here is decades behind that in the USA. Added to which, the vast majority of my friends are Stateside, and my heart misses them (I should be thankful I *have* friends to miss), and I can’t visit them AND do training.
This week progresses at a low, recovering from surgery (never a favourite (nonetheless I *am* recovering, and should be thankful for the ease of getting the op I needed, and that I’m recovering well)) and trying to remember my limitations. That last bit proving a daily/hourly/minute-ly trial at times. I’m very, VERY lucky to have family around me supporting me and reminding me to be gentle with myself. I’m very, very, VERY lucky to have people in my World Between the Wires who check in, cheer me up, and keep me going – kindly listening to my rants and ravings as I go through the troughs and troughs and troughs of this storm (so, so, so, thankful, thankful, thankful for them).
I’ve been leaning on the love-tokens from far-distant friends (really, incredibly thankful for their generosity) as they have quite literally wrapped me around and warmed me up with their love and thoughtfulness. I’ve been delighted my foresight in writing Christmas cards before I went for my op paid off (and even more grateful to WonderAunty, who posted them for me) because throughout the week, I’ve seen little fireworks of happiness going off across the States as they’ve been received.
Perhaps I should be thankfullest of all for the peace and quiet and capacity afforded to me by where I am, that I can take time out to recover and get healed up before throwing myself back into ordinary, everyday life. But somehow one of my personal quirks is that I have an incredible talent for turning things to shit, creating false expectations I can’t possibly hope to meet, and then feeling disappointed when I fail at them.
There are so many basic things I’ve got just…covered…and it feels icky to be so caught up in the really-not-so-very important added extras of life. Maslow would be disgusted with me. I don’t really even know what I’m striving towards, but maybe my new year’s resolution needs to be to learn how to be a bit less completely rubbish at recognising the good in my life, and having some degree of perspective about it all.
And they are, but I’m still disappointed and let down…by myself most of all.
Plan for next year – do better.