My daughter, Emily, was sick with mononucleosis during her freshman year in high school. Aside from accidents and injuries, this was the sickest I had ever seen any of my kids. What started out as something that appeared to be a common cold, quickly escalated into a major illness. She was covered with an angry red rash, her joints were visibly swollen, and her throat swelled to the point where she could not speak or eat solid food. Being a “wait and see” mom didn’t work out very well in this instance. As much reluctance as I had to take my kids to the doctor, I knew it couldn’t be avoided this time. Unfortunately, beyond a definitive diagnosis, there wasn’t much that could be done medically for Emily other than to treat her symptoms. Mono is a virus, and we just had to wait for it to run its course. Em missed about three weeks of school, and it took her months to recover anything resembling the normal energy level of a 15-year-old girl. The doctor told Emily that she would need to be careful. The virus could remain with her in a dormant state, but could suddenly flare up if she allowed herself to become run down. Continue Reading »
Disappointment. How to get over it? How do we move on from situations that disappoint us? I often struggle with that question. Over and over in our lives, we are confronted with disappointments. How do with deal with it? How do we move on and let go?
Some disappointments are quite insignificant. For example, today I really wanted a Big Mac. By the time I got around to getting my lunch, it was well past lunchtime, and I was really hungry. I was looking forward to my sloppy burger. I sat in a long, long line at the drive-up window waiting for my turn to order. I didn’t mind the wait. I was having an enjoyable conversation on the phone with my son. I didn’t allow impatience to sneak in. Finally, I had my food, and I pulled into a parking space to quickly eat before returning to the office. I pulled my fries out of the bag, and they looked terrible. They were too dark (which is odd for the crazily regimented McDonalds.) OK, it wasn’t the fries I had been craving anyway, so I set them aside and grabbed my Big Mac. I instantly knew that this wasn’t good. Thunk, thunk…the bun was as hard as a rock, and it was cold, too. Yes, I was disappointed, but I dealt with it. In case you’re wondering, and T was wondering, I ate it anyway. Obviously, I’ve learned how to deal with the everyday, minor disappointments pretty well.
It is the larger disappointments that I’m not so good at dealing with, facing, letting go, or getting past. How do we deal with the things in life that don’t go our way even if we have put our heart, our soul, and a vast amount of energy into it? How do we deal with disappointment over something that didn’t go as we had envisioned? How do we deal with tragic loss? I’m not good at all in dealing with the larger disappointments life throws my way, and that bothers me.
December 11 is a fine example of ME hanging onto, not being able to let go of a disappointment. My superstition, hatred, and fear of November is another example. Believe me there are a host of other disappointments, but this isn’t about MY LIST of disappointments or regrets. What this is about is the fact that it’s finally sinking in that I need to learn how to LET GO of disappointment instead of replaying it over and over in my mind…looking for a way I could have changed the outcome.
I have decided to face this head on. I am going to begin dealing with the subject of disappointment just like I would deal with a challenge that I might face at work. I am going to begin by educating myself on the mechanics of disappointment. What is a common reaction? What is unusual? What is normal behavior, and what is over the top? Once I identify where I fall on the scale of what is considered “normal,” then I will educate myself on what to do about it.
I don’t want to become cynical. I don’t want to be a grouch or a recluse. I want to learn how to LET GO of the disappointment in a healthy and constructive way. I don’t want to be a Pollyanna, either. While I know that there are lessons to learn from many of our disappointments, I now realize that some things are simply not fair. That’s life! Those are the ones that are difficult to let go of and move on from. When life treats me unfairly, it makes me angry. An angry person is not who or what I want to be. The disappointments we all face are often not our choice, but how we deal with them is well within our control. Now…I just need to figure out how to do that!
“We would never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world,”
~ Helen Keller