"Look on the Bright Side"
I am sure I have said the phrase a million and one times. I am certain I have heard it a million and two times. It is sometimes said without thinking. It is in our repertoire of things we say when words fail us. It is an easy thing to say but a hard task to accomplish in most instances. It is okay to feel sad and afraid because sometimes horrible things happen. But the gift of time often allows for healing, understanding, and acceptance of any bad situation.
Sometimes there is no "Bright Side". Sometimes both sides of a penny are dark and gloomy. It is not always possible to happy about the fact your child has relapsed AGAIN, and the odds are similar to the odds of winning the Power Ball. I know there are times when news hits me in the gut so hard, I can not breathe. I am shocked in a time in my life I don't think I can be shocked by anything. It is so hard sometimes to ramp myself up to see a friend, or break some news to the family or worse yet, to your child.
I am not talking about our family. Things are going great right now. Mary-E is cooking along and will graduate after only four years of schooling. She will do so being ever so close to graduating with honors. She is ready to take on the world in one way or another.
But day after day, week after week, I am holding my breath, knowing this will never be a solid state of being. Many say to me "Look on the Brightside." "Don't dwell on what could happen." "Don't be pessimistic." While knowing each day could bring new cancer or a new side effect is not being pessimistic. A bit of well-placed pessimism is simply my reality. It is just that little niggling voice sitting on my shoulder reminding me to value and enjoy every day. It lets me forgive myself for my many imperfections, my never organized house, piles of self-reproducing laundry, my endless to-do list.
It makes me try harder to do things that make a difference in people's lives. It makes me balance what I want. I want to spend time with people that make my life richer and more interesting. My house is not perfect, but six people are coming for dinner. The lamb is a bit spicy but then why did God make sour cream?
The bright sides of my penny bring me back to this moment in time. This is where I stay, knowing the penny, no matter how dark, is still a work in process. There is a good chance it there will shine on both sides.