Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ignoring the Forest to See the Trees

Since becoming a mother, I whine a lot. A LOT. Ask my friends. I got a bit testy last week when a childless friend commented that I seemed determined to be miserable, or something along those lines. And, admittedly, I do love a good wallow now and then. But nothing awakens me from a dogmatic (or melodramatic) slumber like a stiff shot of reality after a stretch of feeling sorry for myself. (Look at that background in philosophy rear its ugly head on the first blog post. Thanks Immanuel Kant!)
I whine about many aspects of my relatively charmed life: my daughter's insane level of activity and complete lack of interest in sleep, the mold growing in our bathroom shower, the Time-Warner Cable monopoly, our broken ice maker, the rate at which vodka disappears from our cupboards, customer service at Vons, my inability to watch a complete episode of The Millionaire Matchmaker start-to-finish. The list goes on and on.
But sometimes even the whiny curmudgeon in me has to take a step back for a reality check. I opened up my Facebook account this morning to a blog post by a woman I was in graduate school with over a decade ago. She is smart, funny, focused, feisty, and strong. And she's battling cancer while I dedicate my remaining brain cells to worrying about whether Sam and Ron will get back together on Jersey Shore.
As both a whiner AND a curmudgeon, I am reluctant to over-use words like "amazing" and "inspirational" and "blessed." But I am also not one to ignore or discount the eerie or surreal or utterly bizarre, and as I read Susan's post, my iPod (set to shuffle) started playing The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony in the background.
A bittersweet symphony? Yup. That's life. We each get one. One. Maybe more if you're Carrie Fisher. But still, I'd like to share this link:
Because moms or not. Whiny or not. Curmudgeons or not. We can all use a reminder now and then to love what we've got, think about what we want, and make plans to use whatever time we have have on this planet in the best way we can.
I'm sure I'll be back to whining shortly. And we all need time to wallow. But now and we all need to ignore the trees so that we check out - and check in - with the forest.

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