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2009 in Letters, Poop & Spilled Milk

December 24, 2009
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Have you ever had a year that began with a day when, while walking the dog to the mailbox, you mindlessly sent the letters (all bills) down the street trash compactor chute, instead of the poop?  Two thousand nine pretty well fell into that category of the letters that went poop. What do you say about a year you so look forward to, when all kinds of crap happens? Life isn’t fair, but it does give you perspective.

This morning, capping the end of the year of things gone awry, our vacation flight landed in snowy Maine, but we weren’t on it. Two out of the four journeyers had the plague, and since those two were the adults, we cancelled the trip.  Actually it wasn’t the plague, just some mild flu, or the worst cold ever. I’m on Day 7, Day 3 of being vertical. My husband is on Day 3, and the guys are horizontal as well, but just because teens like to sleep.  So being a psychologist, I try all kind of rationalizations:

  • The past prepares you for the present. True, it does, and this too shall pass.
  • It seems that there’s never enough time. Now there’s a week with nothing planned.
  • When you’re overwhelmed, break things down into small parts. One day at a time.
  • Growth through stress. I can’t abide unnecessary suffering.  Might as well learn from it.
  • The Christmas spirit is about togetherness.  I’m grateful we have each other, contagion and all.

But mostly what I tell myself is teach your almost grown sons how to recover from life’s surprises.  It starts with spilled milk. No use getting worked up. Just say, “Oh, that was a surprise, can you help me clean it up?” After many years of practice, the gift my sons now give to themselves when things go south is the reassurance: “Okay, that was a surprise.”

So please when you have a bad day, week or more, take a little time to feel sorry for yourself, grump about a bit, then figure out something new to do. I’m already imagining the rock climbing gym in our near future, holiday movies, holiday music. And I remind myself, even on my worst days, at least I didn’t mail the poop.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Demie permalink
    December 27, 2009 11:14 pm

    Hi B.,
    So sorry! Hope you all recover soon! I like your lessons. I’ll keep them handy, since of course life dishes up these surprises/bummer events on a somewhat regular basis.

    All the best for 2010! Demie

    • December 27, 2009 11:15 pm

      Thanks so much for the comment Demie! Vertical beats horizontal any day…only a matter of time, and managing life’s surprises.

  2. December 27, 2009 11:19 pm

    Good for you, B, that you can still see a ray of sunshine in all the poop we have to clean up.

  3. December 27, 2009 11:20 pm

    Thanks Susan! Perspective is what it’s all about.
    Happy New Year.
    B.

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