Friday, September 23, 2011

All I can do

I guess this is one of those posts I just want to write down so I don't forget.  A stream of consciousness post because that's all I can muster right now.

Never mind my insane head cold.  I stopped taking the pseudo-fed 3 days ago because I seriously couldn't function while on it.

When my friend, J's husband passed away suddenly, at 40, I knew that her world, hell, all of our worlds were going to be completely different afterward.  I knew that she would be lonely, that she would be angry, that she would get depressed, that grieving would come at her in crazy and unexpected ways.

I expected that she would be pissed off at me at various times, because she was grieving, because I was not, because my husband was still alive.  Despite the ups and downs that every marriage goes through, I knew full well she'd give anything to continue those ups and downs for another minute, instead of just reminiscing.  I really expected all of it.

But it's still hard.  It's hard to know that the hurt she feels is something I can't take from her.  It's something that wallops her and nobody can shield her from those waves.

So I know that when I've hurt her feelings, or when she thinks I have hurt her feelings, it's not really about me, and it's not really that I've done anything wrong, it's just that she's raw and grieving and it's painful.  The only way to not expose her to any perceived hurt from me is to distance myself from her life.  I love her too much to do that.

But it totally sucks in the meantime.  To know that she's pissed, at me, for no reason, and that any other person can look at the situation and know that she's drowning but can't accept any help, that is painful for us all.  Because we all love her.  And we all want to help her.  But if she closes herself off, and can't let herself be fallible or vulnerable, or open to the love and support that we all wish to share with her, then we have to let her be for now.

I wish it were different.  For J.  For me.  For the rest of us who can only stand by and wish we could do something MORE for her, for us.  I wish it weren't so painful for all of us to bear the brunt of this grief. 

I am glad that we, as her group of friends, can recognize that it isn't a fault of our own.  For most of my life, I am willing to bet that I would've seen this as something I was responsible for, something that I would have to fix.

I only wish that I could.  For now, I can continually offer my vibes from afar.  Until that forgiveness is given, that's the best I can do.

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's Not Easy

Let's be honest. Ethics is not for wimps.

It's not easy being a good person.

It's not easy to be honest when it might be costly, to play fair when others cheat, or to keep inconvenient promises.

It's not easy to stand up for our beliefs and still respect differing viewpoints.

It's not easy to control powerful impulses, to be accountable for our attitudes and actions, to tackle unpleasant tasks, or to sacrifice the now for later.

It's not easy to bear criticism and learn from it without getting angry, to take advice, or to admit error.

It's not easy to feel genuine remorse and apologize sincerely, or to accept apologies graciously and truly forgive.

It's not easy to stop feeling like a victim, to resist cynicism, or to make the best of every situation.

It's not easy to be consistently kind, to think of others first, to judge generously, or to give the benefit of the doubt.

It's not easy to be grateful or to give without concern for reward or gratitude.

It's not easy to fail and still keep trying, to learn from failure, to risk failing again, to start over, to lose with grace, or to be glad of another's success.

It's not easy to look at ourselves honestly and be accountable, to avoid excuses and rationalizations, or to resist temptations.

No, being a person of character isn't easy. That's why it's such a lofty goal and an admirable achievement.

 - Michael Josephson

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happiness is . . .

The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the WorldThe Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Probably one of the least happiest books about happiness I've read. The descriptions of the places the author visits are terrific. However, the author is a self-described grump, and it shows. There is a layer of film over even the most happy places the author visits, even the most delighted people. I found the entire book to be a little depressing, as though the motive for writing wasn't really achieved. There is happiness to be found everywhere, and sure, it can be measured, but why? Basically I was confounded with the entire premise, that certain places would be happier than others. I mean, there are homeless people in Hawaii who are probably just as pissed off as some of the people in Qatar or Bhutan (whichever was "happy" in the book). Just not a terrific read, frankly.

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