Saturday, January 19, 2013


As I wrote my entry yesterday, I was clearly frustrated and feeling slightly overwhelmed. I think that's why I forgot something that I had meant to share. Something that I found fairly significant, at least for me.

At the school I have the privilege to work in, I see daily examples of people doing things that I consider "above and beyond." When I mentioned this to the principal, she just replied, humbly, "I don't consider it going above and beyond. I consider it doing my job. I don't want any obstacles to get in the way of these families getting the chance they need." Inspirational in and of itself.

Taking this philosophy to heart, I offered to accompany the principal to the hospital to meet with a parent to sign intake paperwork. The parent is quite ill, and the kid is having a rough go of it and needs help. As we boarded the elevator, a tall man, just a bit older than myself, joined us. He grinned and said, "How are you all doing today?" We murmured that we were doing well, then the principal politely returned the question. Without hesitation, this cheerful man said, "I'm really good. In fact, I'm great every day. Life is a choice!" With that, we were at our stop, and parted ways.

As I donned my surgical mask to enter the parent's room, it stuck in my mind. Life IS a choice. We will all have struggles. Things will not always go our way. But in the midst of all that, we can CHOOSE to find joy and laughter. We can CHOOSE to focus on the positive things.

The parent I was meeting with to sign paperwork had just had a treatment. She was clearly in pain and exhausted, but insisted on doing every bit of the intake, including the long comprehensive interview/history, even when I offered to complete it with another family member instead. She CHOSE to work through the pain and exhaustion for the love of her child, and the hope that her child would get the needed help.

Some days, I know I don't choose to be happy. Some days, I choose to wallow in my own self pity, thinking of the things I don't have, drowning in unfulfilled wishes and impossible dreams. But I am determined now to find things every day to be thankful for, to be happy about, to laugh at. Because without laughter and joy, life is empty. And I choose a full life.

Laugh on.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Laugh or cry


That's all I have to say about this day and this week. Let's recap, shall we?

. My computer won't charge anymore. It's been sent to the computer doc at a total cost of probably my firstborn child.

.My car sometimes decides not to start, it squeaks, and at times I'm sure the engine is going to fail. I can't really afford to even get it checked out.

.I have been working extra hours to try to keep afloat at work, and dealing with suicidal kids and uncooperative adults is no cup of tea.

.I got a call from my apartment management saying there is a leak right below my apartment. Everything was fine when I left this morning, but I am dreading hearing what happened. Plus, my apartment is a pit, so I am mortified that someone will be in there. I just hope I didn't leave any unmentionables hanging around. I am sitting here stewing because I don't have time to run home and check on things.

.When I finally made it to the bathroom after a morning of rushing around, I discovered that my eyeliner had been masquerading as eye shadow (all over my eyelid) for who knows how long, and I was developing a lovely stress zit on my chin. Wonder why.


At least I have access to a computer and therefore access to communication and the world. I have a computer at work and a phone with internet access, so I'm not cut off. And while I will have to put the repair on my credit card, I have a stable job that allows me to pay a little at a time.

At least I have a car, a mode of transportation. I use it to get to the above-mentioned stable job and all over to see friends and do the essential errands of everyday life. Eventually I will be able to bring it to be checked out, and when I do, I will figure out a way to pay for that little by little as well.

At least my job is busy enough that I am not in any danger of being fired or moved elsewhere. I have a good relationship with the people I work with, and my clients trust me to bring up really difficult stuff to talk through in therapy. I am making a difference.

At least my apartment management is on top of maintenance problems. I'm sure they've seen much worse messes than what is left in my apartment. If there is a major problem, they will fix it at no cost to me. There aren't many perks to living in an apartment, but that is definitely one of them.

At least I have a fabulous support system, friends and family who are there to listen to me moan about my first world problems, or to step in and help me out when the situation calls for it.

At least I am healthy. I did an intake in the hospital this morning with a parent who is very very sick. My family and friends are relatively healthy as well. Many families cannot say the same.

At least I have clean drinking water and clothes, a place to call my home and plenty of extra conveniences that I often take for granted.

At least I know that I will have a warm and comfy place to sleep tonight, and people to take me in if anything happens to the shelter I am able to provide myself.

At least I was able to eat lunch, even a quick cheeseburger in the car between running paperwork downtown and coming back to my busy afternoon.

At least I have my faith. I know that God will be with me no matter what. To some this may seem like a crutch, but for me, it is an opportunity to admit my weakness and find true strength.

Even when things seem to pile up, at least I know they will get better. And I will always find a reason to laugh.

Laugh on.