17 Dec

We cannot cure the world of sorrows but we can choose to live in joy. – Joseph Campbell

Some days I wonder if it’s possible to choose to live in joy.  There are days when life feels so overwhelming.  The memory of my baby boy. The monotony of wake up, go to work, eat, clean up, watch tv, go to sleep. Over and over.  It feels pointless.  Why bother choosing joy?  Will it really change anything?  Life is full of crappy situations.  People who do want babies but can’t. People that don’t want babies that do have them.  People who have babies that get sick.  People who have no money for Christmas for their family. People who have no money for food or a home.  The world is a shitty place.  Let’s be honest.  Life isn’t fair.  The universe doesn’t pass out gold stars.  You get what you get and not what you deserve.

And yet, people are happy anyway.  There are happy people out there.  People who go through the mall at Christmas time with a smile on their face not caring about the traffic or the crowds.  People who can’t have babies but manage to put on a happy face for a sister or a friend and get through that baby shower because they can’t imagine not being there.  People who have nothing and try to make the best of a situation and manage to stay happy and cheerful for their children.  People who are homeless who are grateful for the women running the soup kitchen so that they have a hot meal.

I’ve been noticing this so much.  Life hands everyone crap.  Some people are happy anyway.  They always say that you shouldn’t be jealous of anyone else because you don’t know what sadness they are coping with.  I used to think that was bull.  I still think it’s a bull in a way. Some people just have easier lives than others.  That’s just the nature of life.  But you don’t know what anyone is going through.  And just because they are happy now, doesn’t mean that they won’t have hard times ahead while you are living your easy times.  I’m trying to remember that.

One of my best friends called to chat.  After I talked to her about my problems and my issues, she said well I have something going on in my life as well.  It’s a bit unexpected.  And I felt sure she was pregnant.  And then she told me that her mother had cancer.  All that kept going around and around in my head in a loop was, “You selfish, selfish bitch.  The most loving and wonderful woman in the world has cancer and here you sit praying that your friend won’t tell you that she is pregnant.”  I would pay a million dollars right now to rewind time and have my friend tell me she is pregnant instead.  Not only does her mother have cancer but they held back on telling me because they didn’t want to burden me with it while I was grieving.  These people are so kind and so wonderful and so generous and I was wishing for her not to be pregnant.  What kind of person does that?

I logged onto Facebook a few weeks ago and saw that a college friend had posted.  I regularly stalk her page to make sure she is not pregnant before me.  She is one of the few people I know that hasn’t had a baby yet and I want to beat her out.  I’m a year older after all. I deserve it.  She was posting to say that her husband had passed away.  She was heartbroken. Her world shattered at the loss of her best friend on earth.  And again, the refrain went in my head.  “You selfish bitch, wondering if she’s pregnant or not.  Her husband is dead.  You lost a baby but she lost her best friend – her anchor.  And you were wishing that she be denied a child because you wanted to be first.”

My life is hard.  I feel like I have more problems than most people.  But I have my husband. I have my health. I have my parents and my in-laws.  I have a home. I have pets.  I have the means to adopt a baby.  I am lucky.  My life is hard. But so is everyone else’s.  If their life isn’t hard now, it doesn’t it mean it wasn’t hard before or it won’t be hard later.

So, I want to make an effort.  I want to choose to live in joy.  I want to make the best of what I have.  I want to choose to be happy for others instead of resenting them for what they have.  Life sucks.  It’s hard for everybody.  But not everybody lets it drown them in sorrow.


11 Responses to “Choosing”

  1. Living Our Life In Cycles December 17, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    Making the best of what we have is wonderful but at times hard to do. One of my close friend’s husband has cancer and I feel like my problem of not being able to bring a baby into the world without medical assistance is so small compared to what she is going through.
    You are not selfish for having those thoughts. If anything it just put things into perspective for you. I’ll be thinking of those you mentioned in this post.

  2. Creating a rainbow December 17, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    I think we all drown in sorrows sometimes and that is usually the best coping mechanism at the time. I can’t imagine doing anything else in the few weeks following my miscarriage. But after some time….whatever that is for us….we slowly start to see the world differently again. To see some joy….to desire more joy than sorrow….to look for more joy…to surround ourselves with more joy. Sometimes the happiest looking people….are really the darkest. Xoxo

    • Anna December 26, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

      You’re right. Sometimes you can’t cope and you have to drown in the sorrow. And I do believe you can’t always be happy and try to choose joy – it’s unhealthy. You have to go through the grieving and the mourning to eventually get to a place where you can move on.

  3. FCblacksheep December 17, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    This post is incredible. So true and so honest. You’re an amazing person Anna. You really are.

    • Anna December 26, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

      Thank you – and thanks for submitting me to the roundup.

  4. Mali December 17, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    Here from Mel’s Round up. Choosing to be happy doesn’t mean you’ll be happy 24/7. But to me it means to feel joy where you feel it – however fleeting that might be – and not to beat yourself up for either a) feeling the joy when you think you should be sad or grieving, or b) not feeling the joy when you need to have a good cry. Wishing you the very best.

  5. Alissa December 20, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    Some people do have it easier, but many do not. It’s hard when you are grieving to realize that life goes on around you and for some people, it is full of hardship too. It’s good that you see that others can have it tough too, even when it pains us to see those we love hurt.
    It puts life in better perspective. Our pain is so huge and centered that it can be hard to see past it.

    I have to remember that too.

  6. brooke December 22, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    This is really something that I struggle to remember. This month has been so hard for me–getting sucked into the spiral of self-pity and anger at how unfair everything is. The truth is that for the vast majority of people, this Christmas won’t be everything they wish it could be. And whether that’s because a loved one is missing, or money is tight, or the behavior of their family is disappointing, or some other reason, we’re all coping with life’s unfairness all the time. And it’s definitely uneven, but I think we almost all have a reason to grieve, just as we all have a reason to be happy.

  7. wakecares4kidsuise December 23, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    I love your honesty…it’s real and from the heart. You’re not a bad person because you have those thoughts…I think it’s normal for so many of us who have experienced a difficult journey. But, the old adage, there is always someone out there that has it worse, is true. And for that, it’s sad…but you never know if this difficult moment in their lives will bring a truly remarkable life experience…or if there is something even more great beyond the difficulty. It’s hard to see it that way, but I’ve had enough ebbs and flows to know that anything is possible.

    Take care!

  8. Detour December 23, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    Hi Anna. Life certainly hands us perspective checks when we hear about others’ misfortunes. I don’t think you’re selfish, though. You’re grieving a tremendous loss and you’d be a robot not to feel sad/angry/etc. Take care and hope you’re doing ok.


  1. Toward Life « This was supposed to be my symphony - January 3, 2012

    […] trying.  It’s not easy to choose joy.  You would think it would be, right?  It seems so easy. Given the choice between joy and sorrow, […]

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