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Life on Life's Terms...

Not the way I would have it. And thank God I am not running the show! And while I can see that I should not be in charge of running my life, I am also somewhat ongoingly amazed by how many corners there are to turn in this life...

I am rounding a hard corner at the moment, several really, like six, and while I know it is all going to be ok, it doesn’t stop my head from waking me up at 3 am and saying,

“Good morning, Erin. We have things to worry and stress over so we should get a jump on it!”

I was like “FUCK YOU HEAD!” But as we all know, the head always wins. So I was up at 3 am but I decided that I was not going to be up and worrying about shit I cannot control. No thank you. I am done with thinking that worry is productive. Most of the worst things that ever happened to me, never happened, except in my head. And that seems like a fruitless wasted exercise at this point...and I need the energy for the other five corners I am rounding.

My son comes home tonight for his first visit home since last August. I am so excited. He has been working so hard on himself and I am excited to see if we can really have a new normal at home. I am hopeful and have my feet firmly planted in reality...but I pray and I hope and I anticipate.

I will say that this is the first time that I am not filled with anxiety. He will be here and it will go how it is going to go. He has everything to lose and everything to gain. I think he sees that now. And I am certain of my own boundaries and have gotten a lot of recent practice in not putting up with bullshit. So I should be ready...if one can ever truly be ready for whatever life unfurls.

My parents are another two corners. My dad is holding his own and doing as well as can be expected. He continues to maintain a good attitude about a really shitty situation and I marvel at how much this historically angry guy isn’t angry and is actually very accepting of his fate. It is sad to watch, but he seems to be mostly ok with it which makes it easier to witness. His suffering is real but he seems able to focus on the positive things and laugh in the face of hardship which is really inspirational.

My mom is doing better too. Her hip is healing but it is just taking a lot longer than she would like. She is still in pain but she is managing that and her expectations as well as can be expected. I come from a long line of self willers, and she is getting her own recent lesson in powerlessness. And she, like me, isn’t all that thrilled about it. But for the most part, she is recovering, albeit too slowly for her.

Maria and Ramiro are healing, slowly. They are alive and super grateful to be alive. I got to spend time with them on Easter and was amazed and in awe of who they are. They have so much joy in their lives. They were almost killed and their lives permanently altered. Still in pain and recovering but there they were, surrounded by family, laughing, joking, loving. I am so lucky to be a part of their lives. So blessed to know them.

The other two corners I am not sure what to do about or with so I am just trying to take them as they come and adjust myself to fit the needs. I know these too shall round themselves out, and when it is time, I will be able to see what is around the corner. For now, I just have to have faith that all that lead me here, will lead me forward.

So I remain resigned to this life that is hard right now. Grateful that it is not harder. Accepting as best I can all the hard that is here right now. Life creates the terms and really I only have two choices: resist or accept. And resistance is really futile because reality always wins. So acceptance it is. All the stuff I can do and see and take on. And all the things I cannot.

Life is never going to be manageable by me. I learned that particular lesson a long time ago and this is just life’s most recent update on that same lesson. Corners are for rounding and when we take them at top speed we really are blind to know or even see what it is that is coming. What I have learned is that if I slow down enough, then I have a chance of rounding it with a little grace and dignity. Instead of rounding it like a bat out of hell which seems to be my preferred mode.

We do not get to choose the terms life deals us. We like to think we can, so we create narratives that support our version of events. But really in the end, none of us are guaranteed what we think we should get, have or hold. We just get what we get. And while we cannot always like what we get, it is ours to make the best of.

So that is what I am doing with all my current corners, seeking the blessings that are inherent in all of them. Moving on is hard to do but so is staying in situations that are harmful to you. Trusting that the people you love, which should include yourself, will be cared for in unexpected ways.

I am not in charge of much these days. But I do have the ability to look for the peace, look for my part and allow others the opportunity to do the same. Whether they want to or not is totally beyond my control and so I know better than to even pick it up. God has this, all of it, even when I am absolutely sure he doesn’t.

So far, life on life’s terms has worked out really well for me. And so long as I place principles before personalities I should be just fine. Really.

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