Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘bearing defeat

Dealing with Frustration

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Have you ever had one of those days where you just wish you could start the day over?

Most of us have, actually. But when we have a day like that — a day where the word “frustration” is written in all-caps, and Murphy’s Law seems to be overly optimistic — it’s hard to remember that other people have suffered the same slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, too.

Or at least, most of them.

My late husband Michael used to say that no one can tell you what you’ve experienced but you. (That was his way of saying that everyone’s different, and everyone’s experiences can’t help but be different as well.) But he also said that because most of us tend to go through the same things, albeit at different times and perhaps in different ways, that helps us realize that we’re not completely alone.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my husband tonight. This isn’t much of a surprise, as I tend to think about him often . . . I can’t bring him back, no, but I can at least remember what he told me, and in that way, at least some of what he was continues to survive.**

Holiday weekends are difficult for me. (If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ve probably figured this out.) Memorial Day weekend, which is a time to remember our servicemen who died in the line of duty, is a very somber holiday to begin with; as Michael served in the Navy honorably (albeit much more briefly than he would have wished due to a knee issue), I suppose it’s not at all surprising that I’m ruminating on frustration, on things I can’t change, on Murphy’s Law and on the whole issue of how to bear defeat, during this particular weekend.

A fortune cookie, of all things, had a cogent saying about this: “The toughest challenge in this world is in bearing defeat without losing heart.”

I think that’s what we all have to do on our darkest days. We have to believe that something will improve despite it all, and that the meaning that eludes us on days where nothing goes right and absolutely nothing makes any sense will eventually show itself.

So it’s hard — very hard — to keep going when you don’t see anything different on the horizon.

But it’s worthwhile to keep trying, no matter how tough life is, and no matter how many difficulties have befallen you.

That’s yet another thing Michael told me. And I believe it still makes sense.

**Yes, I know that while I continue to survive, at least some of Michael is alive as well. But it’s a difficult concept for me to ponder.