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.