And Then, This Happened….

I had been having one of my “feeling sorry for myself” days recently, mostly due to my worries and fears over money.  Anytime I find myself in a financial bind, I immediately feel like all my hopes and dreams are tossed out the window.  I had to move money from my savings account to my checking account to insure I had enough money to make my rent payment next week and of course this was upsetting to me as my savings account right now is specifically meant for spending money while I am in Spain.  I started to worry I wouldn’t have enough saved up and that I would never lower the balance on my credit card enough to use it while away and all of this snowballed into me simply feeling down about everything going on in my life.  I was resentful that the issues with my mother had come up and felt like every time something good comes along in my life, or every time I start to feel like things are looking up, something comes along and smacks me in the face and reminds me that maybe, just maybe, I was never meant to find happiness in my life.  Then I got a message from one of my friends last night.

I don’t get many messages while at work and sometimes I will go several hours without checking my phone.  I happened to check last night and saw that I had missed a text by about 20 minutes.  It was from a friend telling me that one of my other friend’s step-mother had been found dead in her home.  She was not very old and as of right now I don’t know any more of the details, but this certainly changed my attitude for the rest of the night.  Although I had not seen my friend’s mother in years she had always been very nice to me and treated me and my other friends like her own kids.  She would always offer us food and drinks and I was invited to stay for dinner any number of times.  When I was sixteen, she helped me buy my first car from their neighbor.  Again, while I don’t know the details of her death and while it comes as a surprise to everyone, the issue of our mortality has quickly become a prominent issue in my mind.  In the innocence of youth we can often pretend like death does not exist, or at least it does not touch the ones we love.  We are young and our parents are young and therefore we have no reason to fear death.  When it comes upon us like this, there really isn’t any way for us to make sense out of it.

My mother being diagnosed with cancer, even though treatable, was the first time in all of my years that I ever had to confront the notion that neither my mother, nor anyone else that I know, is immortal and that death will come for us all whether we are expecting it or not.  I don’t want to take the passing of my friend’s mother as an excuse to get even further down on things.  I would like to take this moment to remind myself that no matter what troubles I may be presented in life, my struggles carry no more or no less weight than anyone else’s.  It’s not fair, nor is it in any way useful, to mope around feeling sorry for myself.  I have to remind myself that being a little discouraged about my trip to Spain is in no way the most important matter in my life right now.

I complain about not speaking Spanish as fluently as I would like.  I complain that I don’t have enough money put aside to enjoy myself while in Spain.  I complain about being unhappy with my job or at the very least my inability to move up in my career.  None of these things are issues that would ever take precedence over the health and well being of my friends and family.  It’s sad that it takes something like this to remind me where my priorities need to be, but hopefully I can take this news and use it as encouragement to keep on doing the things that make me happy and to do whatever it takes to enjoy the time I have with my family.

Every day is a struggle, I know this and I accept this.  I think my failures come when I refuse to accept the challenges.  It’s not easy to always keep your head up and I said way back when I announced that I would no longer allow things to make me an unhappy person that certainly there would still be days when I found it difficult to be happy, but being happy in the short term versus being happy overall are two different things.  No, I was not happy to learn of my friend’s mother’s death, but I can’t let something like this prevent me from enjoying life and being a happy person in general.  Yes, the money issue is something that often weighs heavy on my mind, but I have to tell myself that I will be OK and I will make wise decisions along the way to ensure everything goes well and I am prepared for my trip.  Obviously, I am not going to fly to Europe if I don’t have enough money to get by while I am there.

I’m going to stop to see my mom this afternoon and then I’m going to lunch with one of my friends.  While certainly we will discuss the events of the last few days, I hope we can keep the conversation upbeat and happy.  For now I am off.  I think I should practice a little Spanish while I have the time.

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~ by James on November 1, 2014.

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