08 August 2008

It's not that easy

My weeks are usually filled with the imagination and inspiration of preschoolers. Sure, I could find something to grumble about when I want to, but generally there have always been more things to be happy about. This week has been a tough week to find the bright spots in. My little sister’s fiancĂ©e’s cancer (he has been living with Ewing’s sarcoma for eighteen months) has taken one bad turn after another after another. I have spent most of the past several days just wishing he could find a single break, but one has yet to present itself. Yet, through it all, I, like so many in our families, have remained optimistic that he will come through it and be better than ever.

Tonight, while trying to find a way to keep my mind off of what he must be going through, I came across a chapter in Kermit the Frog’s Before You Leap entitled: When Bad Things Happen to Good Frogs. I thought I’d share a bit of it with all of you tonight, a reminder of who we are and how strong each of us is.

What I’ve Learned About Bad Things

Bad Things Hurt. Sometimes the hurt is physical, as when Gonzo misjudges his motorcycle reentry trajectory and lands on your instep or when Miss Piggy inflicts a karate chop to your lower lumbar region. Sometimes the hurt goes deeper, as when someone disappoints you or Miss Piggy lands on your instep. In either case, you must try to heal. Let time pass and the hurt will go away, though you may walk with a limp.

Bad Things Don’t Mean Bad People. We are all capable of causing bad things to happen to others; that does not mean we are bad. Even when someone goes out of his way to make bad things happen to people, that doesn’t mean he is bad. (But it does mean it might be a good idea to pretend your cell phone just rang and that you have to rush home right away to feed the cockatoos.) We have to give people the benefit of the doubt and to forgive them for the hurt they may cause. But bring your cell phone along, just in case.

Attitude Is Everything. There are two ways to react to bad things. The easy way is to get angry, cast aspersions, and generally get in a bad mood about the world and everything in it. For an advanced course in the approach, see Statler and Waldorf’s classic guide of crumudgeonliness, “How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Start Blaming You.” The other way to react takes a lot more work. You can get over it. That’s right; accept it, be happy you survived it, and get past it. Then make every effort to prevent bad things from happening to you and to others. (This includes not standing to close to Statler and Waldorf.)

Why Worry? The only thing worse than having something bad happen to you is worrying about it beforehand. Constant fretting can make you afraid to face the world or even get up in the morning. Don’t be a worry wart. (Not that there’s anything wrong with warts; some of my best friends cause warts.)

If It Were Easy, Everyone Would Be You. Overcoming difficult times is what turns you into “you.” Let’s be honest, I wouldn’t be me – for better or worse – if Miss Piggy weren’t there to make my life, uh,… interesting. Fozzie wouldn’t be Fozzie if it weren’t for the long, hard trek he has made in his rise to comedic heights, relatively speaking. And who would Gonzo be if it weren’t for his constant violations of the laws of gravity, aerodynamics, and common sense? We are often at our best when we’re facing our worst situations. Know that when you come out of it, you can be a better you.


Princess Fee said...

Am really sorry to hear about the bad things that have recently been happening in your life. My thoughts & prayers are with you all.

And who better to take advice from than Kermit? A lovely little piece that can help us all get through the tougher times in life.

Anonymous said...

I'm really sorry to hear about what your family is going through. I hope brighter days are coming.

Anonymous said...

That is quite sad about your sisters fiancee, but it is good that you are finding things that are keeping you where you need to be with your own day to day attitude, thanks for sharing that with us.

Karen said...

So sorry to hear about your future BIL. I hope that your family continues to find strength...Kermit, like the great Confucious is a great philosopher. We'll keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

=) Karen