Wednesday, April 13, 2011


It is not enough for a man to know how to ride; he must know how to fall. ~Mexican Proverb

You would think that in our lives we are faced with ONE big challenge. ONE huge jump to get over... and then after that the course is clear and smooth.

Yeah, how many of you are already shaking your heads? Life's not like that.

Let me begin by saying that I love my life. I really do. With all it's challenges, all it's tears, all it's craziness- it's my life- and EVERY difficult thing has been balanced with amazing good.

People frequently ask if there's anything in your life you'd go back and do differently? No. Not only no, but HELL NO! Every experience helps build who I am today. Are there events I'd change if I could- of course there are. I'd love to grow up with a dad. My husband- still miss him every day and probably will for the rest of my life. Choices I've made- those I would never trade or take back. I could choose differently and I might have saved myself a lot of tears- but I might have missed out on the best parts of my life.

At this point in my life I thought that I'd be settled, my life would be not only planned out, but falling in line according to the plan. Let's just say that I never expected to be a widow. I worried about being a widow. I worried about it a lot. My mom's a widow (and has been since she was 27). That's what I grew up with.

My husband and I had a remarkably peaceful and smooth marriage. There were very few fights. I ALWAYS had it in the back of my mind that if he died I didn't want our last words together to be less than loving. EVERY time I left the house I told him I loved him. If he left without coming in and hugging me and saying, "I love you," I'd call him as he was driving away (he stopped leaving without hugs and kisses pretty early in our marriage).

Keep in mind- I'm far from sweet and kind and easy to live with (it's ok Mom, you can comment if you want to). My husband had to be a pretty special (and patient) man in order to put up with me and my constant, compulsive need to make sure that our relationship was solid ALL the time. There was ONE day I almost left home without kissing him goodbye. We were in such a hurry. It was the night of our 4-H enrollment meeting and we were running late and I had sooo much I needed to do. Backing the van out of the driveway I just couldn't pull out of the driveway- I HAD to go kiss my husband and tell him I loved him. What if I never saw him again?

I'll remember that night for the rest of my life. It was October 1, 2009- and he was dead before I returned from that meeting.

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean someone isn't out to get you.

What do you do when those ideas come into your mind and you just can't get them to go away? What does it mean to keep having recurring thoughts that just seem totally unlikely? Do you pursue that odd, random line of thinking? Do you ignore the illogical? Assume it has no basis in YOUR reality and turn away? Or do you push beyond what is comfortable?

And... when your worst fears seem likely... and you have a choice to walk away... avoid those fears... don't get involved... be a stranger. Do you walk away? Do you RUN away? Or do you stop, turn around, shake it off, and start to fight?

Huh, I'm a fighter. Who knew?

I'm also incredibly insecure, not about myself or my self esteem (good heavens, no- I should probably have a little LESS self esteem). I would very much like security in my life. I want to know what is going to happen, when it's going to happen, where it will happen, who it will happen with, and why it will happen. ("It" being life). I want to know what variables will change the results. I want to know which variables are available- whether they'll change the results or not. I want to KNOW. More than that, I WANT CONTROL. Life is scary. I should be able to exert some influence on my own destiny.

Yeah, quit laughing and shaking your head. I know that I don't actually get to control the big things in life. I KNOW that. It doesn't mean that it's easy for me to accept that. I hate being a passenger. Who's steering this thing? I hate being scared. Hate= fear. I hate, hate, hate being scared.

Guess what? Life's not about easy. The things we value most are NOT the ones that come easily or that we gain without taking big risks.

Oh look! There's a huge hurdle ahead! The worst part of jumping is knowing that if it doesn't all come together "just right" it's going to hurt like hell. You know going in- that the possibility exists that you're not going to be able to walk away if you fall. Yet, we jump anyway.

When all of your feet are off the ground and you hang in mid-air- faith carries you. So, deep breath, put on the big girl panties, shoulders back, chin up... and... crap! I DON'T JUMP!!! I like my horse on the ground! I like to be safe! What am I thinking???

Oh yeah, now I remember... I've hit the part of the course where my only choices are to turn around and go back or to learn how to fly. I don't think I can live with turning around and retreating so I guess I'd better settle myself with a deep dose of faith, trust, and the belief that I will land on my feet after clearing this jump.


Summer Miller said...

Love this post Janet...time to pull up my big girl panties too! I love the proverb at the top too...very timely

jugglingpaynes said...

Beautifully said.

I've never regretted the bad moments in my life either. Those are what really shape us into who we are.

Thanks for your comment! It's nice to know there are other families who enjoy puns as much as we do!

Peace and Laughter,

Jake camping in the living room

Jake camping in the living room