My last post led to a number of thoughts, from several people on several topics.  For me, I thought a bit about life and things in general and as I participated in the various dialogs, I thought about me.  In doing so the “Five for Fighting” song “It’s not Easy to be Me” came to mind.  I listened to it a number of times, internalized the words, thought about them and thought about those with who I exchanged thoughts.  Typically I look at life quite simply, look at it for what it is, believing that what it is, is less about what I can control, but more about responses.  I thought about what life presented others in my life, and me.  After listening to the song a bit more I kind of began to think, maybe it isn’t easy to be me, maybe “me” isn’t easy for anyone.

In describing the events of my nephew’s graduation, I mentioned his path to that point come with some challenges.  In participating, I thought of those challenges, the obstacles and thought of how his road was likely more challenging than those of his classmates, at least the majority thereof.  I thought of how he overcame setbacks and how, for some reason, by some fate, he landed at more than just a good college, he landed at one with a top 20 ranking in his area of interest.

In the last post I also discussed some of the thoughts of my son’s accomplishments, of how he overcame what others thought insurmountable odds given his Aspergers.  I thought of a time when he was in fifth grade and I was helping him with a math problem, a subject with which he struggled.  It was something of a revelation for me because it was one of those rare moments when I could actually think as he thinks.  The moment involved a word problem that seemed rather simple and straight forward to me, not so for my son.  I went over the problem, progressed through the logic of the neurotypical and demonstrated how to derive the answer.  I watched him do the problem, differently than I, he read and interpreted the words differently.  After about 20 minutes, a light went off, not with my son, but with me – I saw how he was reading the problem and how his “wrong answer” made perfect sense with his interpretation.  I pointed out the correct interpretation, he recognized the logic and found the answer.  The incident gave me pause, it was as if in some ways he had filters on his eyes which enabled him to see a certain way. In the wake of the graduation I thought of that moment, this time with my son and of the challenges he faced in doing that which easily made sense to others.

The post also brought forth comments from some readers, interesting exchanges of life and the challenges thereof.  Each carried with it a story of challenge, each having a different perspective, but each having sought to, or having overcome a major life challenge.  In these exchanges I thought of a dialog with the therapist I had been seeing during a session where I had been a bit down.  I noted how I needed a win, how things seemed a bit unbalanced and how I seemed to get more than my share.  It was one of my more rare and short lived moments of self-pity wherein I noted that many others seemed to have an easier go of life.  The comments provoked two seemingly diametrically opposed comments.  First she noted how many “happy” people are really miserable, adding that she sees them in her practice.  Next she validated what I was feeling, acknowledging my life’s challenges, particularly those most recent – divorce and cancer, were pretty significant.  She also acknowledged many of the other unfortunate events in my life, things not necessary to share, but which had profound impacts on me and, I believe, how I view things, saying how I seemed to have gotten more than my “fair share”.

When I think of this conversation I sometimes look at all those people in my life and others I see, but whom I’ve never met.  I think of the challenges they have faced and tragedies seemingly imposed on them.  I think of all the deaths, illnesses, divorces and other bumps in the road, if one can consider these thing bumps.  I think of the close friend whose father committed suicide, using a shotgun, who was the one who discovered the body.  The same friend was later diagnosed with bone cancer which, after seemingly having gone into remission, reappeared as lung metastases – he died shortly thereafter.  I think of another close friend whose father was killed in a tragic farm accident when he was quite young and who later in life lost his 10 year old son, a son named after the father he lost, to an illness.  In a more global sense, I think of all the people made homeless by hurricane Floyd in North Carolina in 1999 and who remain so today and those in a similar situation as a result of hurricane Katrina’s devastation.  The list can go on and on.

I think, in looking at all that happens to people and in the world, my lot in life is pretty good.  It seems to me that with life comes challenge and with challenge comes both successes and failures, joy and sorrow.  I think each of us face our own challenges and each of us finds the path best suited to us, that best enables us to handle that which life brings to us.  In looking at the whole of this paradigm, the vision that comes to mind is how life makes us what and who we are as people.  How we handle things brings with it some degree of salvation, of either personal victory or a demonstration to others with whom we may come in contact.  Some will say that what comes our way is the work of a higher being and that which comes is designed to not be more than we can handle.  As I’ve mentioned in the past, I don’t see it that way, I don’t believe, I can’t believe, life is micro-managed in that way, ground covered in a previous post.

The conversation with the therapist remains with me and is something upon which I reflect now and then.  I think of all in my life, good, bad, indifferent and more often than not I seem to conclude the scales weigh much heavier to the good than anything else.  As noted, it seems like everyone is faced with their own particular challenges and life events.  For me, at least for the time, it is cancer, something different for others.  I think though, that when it is all summed up, our attitude is that which we choose, that life is good, but it also isn’t easy.  I think, as the song says, “it’s not easy to be me”, whoever “me” may be.

As always, feel free to comment or you may email me at lifeabstractions@gmail.com

Ciao

LifesAbstractions

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