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Making Merry in Miry Muck

Lily Chang © 2018

Life has seemed intolerable, wading through miry muck.

Dealing with people’s written compositions that make little sense has been painful. Pulling random words out of a hat and assembling them on a page would have fared better. At least contradictory claims wouldn’t be paraded as arguments. Low expectations would be set. Maybe even a good laugh would be enjoyed.

Watching mayhem, small and large, anything from yelling and biting over small matters to raging and exploding anger on the road, has been exhausting.

Feeling like time has been elusive has been frustrating, to put matters mildly. Time hasn’t been just difficult to find. It’s gone. Disappeared like a fart in the wind, when so much still needs to be done.

Lily Chang © 2018

But, some seemingly random gestures of love made me slam the brakes speeding toward a disastrous destination and turn toward brighter prospects –

  • Being given a used copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, when doing so involved making a sacrifice on this particular giver’s part, moved me deeply. And, it was my first British copy in the series.
Lily Chang © 2018
  • Having a passing pedestrian walking his dog stop and help me change a flat tire out in the cold, wet air, warmed my heart.

So, life isn’t dark and dreary. There is hope and love freely given.


Where have you gotten stuck?

And, what has gotten you to change directions?

3 thoughts on “Making Merry in Miry Muck”

  1. I’ve had similar experiences: Days when I arose on the wrong side of the bed, able to toss a temper tantrum at the slightest provocation (What, the toothpaste tube is empty!?!?); then met unfriendly, discourteous folks in shops or groceries (21 items in the Fast Lane, really?!!?); experienced truly the worst the world had to offer in the latest new shooting horror at a school or in crowded street market; or another bombing raid of one kind or another in retaliation for a missile attack. No matter how frivolous or truly frightening my world is on a particular day, there is always something — if I’m looking for it … no, if I’m willing to look for it — that can turn that day around and make it right. It’s mostly about my attitude. I might get up on the wrong side of the bed. But I can decide to get ’round to the right side of it, so to speak. I’m not in control of life or the world or the rest of the people in it. But I can be in control of how I react to that world and its people. Again, it comes back to willingness.

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  2. One place I repeatedly get stuck, but less so, as I age and learn from my experience, is in worry. Worry is the catalyst for the Walled Off, Wasted Life. I know. I spent years worrying. About the bills. Whether the deadlines would get met (I’m a journalist). About a thousand other things. I actually believed (I’m not kidding) that if I worried about something, that, somehow, my worrying actually helped bring the Problem to a Solution and, conversely, if I neglected to worry about it (shame on me) the Problem would engulf me and finish me off. So, for example, I’d arrive home on a Friday night, worried about an unresolved Problem at work, let’s say, and only be half there for the family all weekend because I had to worry that Problem into a deadlock and hold it at bay until Monday when, maybe, I’d be able to resolve it. I look back, now, and wonder that it took me so many years to see that, in fact, my worry did nothing valuable at all, but instead but made me less productive, less insightful, and far less able to think creatively toward solutions — never mind that I was hardly ever all there for family and friends. It took a few crises — in fact, problems for which there weren’t any solutions — and some long sessions with two gifted therapists — to convince me to let go and embrace the truth that my worry is not only unproductive but actively destructive. Today? I still lapse into worry on occasion, when I’m not watchful. It’s an old habit. And old habits die hard. But I catch myself. And tell myself the truth. Worry solves nothing. The cheerful, delighted heart sees problems as opportunities. They’re not the things that keep us from Life. They are, in fact, the very stuff of Life itself. And solving them is the exciting part that gets the delighted up in the morning. No Walled Off, Wasted Life for them. Am I there yet? Am I that ever-cheerful, delighted heart? Not quite, I’m sorry to say. (Far from it, some days.) But I’ve come a long way from the worry wart I once was. And (this is the important part), I’m moving in the right direction.

    Liked by 1 person

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