A close up of the surface of an oil painting

When life doesn’t get better

A person sitting on the ground in front of water.

–For some reason, I thought life always got better.

Alice Hoffman  in “Survival Lessonsâ€



I did, too, Alice.    Until it didn’t.

This kind of thinking is irrational; I do know that.  The headlines scream pain and misery at me  daily.  Friends succumb to  terrifying disease, floods threaten, jobs are lost. But somehow..it’s not about me.  Not this time.  Until it is.

My thoughts crash in on me.  Is this the “new normal?†Will things  ever get better?  Or will they get worse?  Much worse?  The truth is,  no one knows.

But this I do know.  Increasingly my quality of life does not depend on what seemed so important  when I was in the midst of family and career responsibilities;  my street address, my bank account, who and what I knew,   my outward appearance.   Now what matters is my inner wealth: my friends, family,  my faith.  I am blessed that  I have learned to value solitude,  that  I have friends I can tell the truth, who will give me a hug and not judge or try to fix me.   I have learned to value simple things;   long walks in nature, afternoon naps  with a  small warm-tummy dog,  spring blossoms, the aroma of bread baking.

I have choices.  My pain, my trial, whatever it is – is not ALL of my life and never will be.  No matter where life lands me I can always choose where  to go in my mind.

And who knows.  It  could get better!

Hoffman, Alice (2013). Survival Lessons, Algonquin Books, Kindle Edition.