This morning I was moving around pretty early, trying not to wake anybody up. As I'm on crutches, that's a tad difficult because they click and clatter with every step I take. A thought popped into my head from the other day: instead of having to tip-toe around, I have to "tip-crutch."
This early morning smile made me think of how often people find ways to smile, even laugh in the face of challenges, adversity and just plain horror. Then I thought of how often we pretend we're doing okay when we're actually not. We have many sayings that encourage us to do that:
- Look on the bright side.
- Keep a stiff upper lip.
Life is a balancing act. Sometimes for a while, we might have to pretend, fake it 'til we make it, get up and get on with it. But we also have to allow ourselves to feel and express our sadness, shock, anger and confusion. The problem with a lot of pretending is that we're often pretending with ourselves, as well as with the rest of the world.
So, get real. Get some help. Get some sleep and a decent meal. Get used to the fact that you might not feel 100% all the time, at least for a while....and that that's okay. It's sometimes part of the ride.
Quit practicing stoptimism and opt for realism. Then a little joke just might manage to make you truly laugh and get on with it. Here are some responses you might consider to those platitudes I listed above:
- Look on the bright side. (Can't find my sunglasses.)
- Keep a stiff upper lip. (Makes it hard to brush my teeth, let alone smile.)
- Every cloud has a silver lining. (So why don't I feel any richer?)
- Yep, I'm fine. I'm keeping busy. (Take the u and the y out of busy. What's left?)
- It could be worse. (Of course it could, but right now it feels lousy.)