Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Beautiful Mess

It seems that some people are given much more trouble and struggle, while others seem to skate by unscathed. The world is such a difficult place; it’s hard to believe, though, that one person could be hit with so much at one time. If you’re looking for fairness, don’t ask Life.

The question comes to mind: isn’t life just a series of small triumphs? Most of us are used to examining an entire life, like that of someone hugely successful in both their private and professional life, and the huge obstacles/challenges they somehow overcame. These are the people that we celebrate, emulate, give awards to, write books and make movies about – the “beautiful people”. Not always physically beautiful, but certainly larger than life.

These are the people we reward. Most often, they are goal-oriented people, who are good at motivating others. They want you to circle your wagon around them and desire to be just like them. They want you to buy their book and find out “how they did it” so you can do it, too. And when you still can’t figure out how to be just like them, they’ll want you to buy the sequel to their book and try again.

But most people live ordinary lives. We have some triumphs, more than likely outweighed by our failures, however small. We’ve had our moments in the sun, mostly when we were young. We’ve had little triumphs a long the way – if we’re lucky, we’ve loved deeply, married well and given birth to healthy babies.

Which brings me to another thing. Once you have children, they tend to be viewed as an extension of your own accomplishments. I do not believe it should be so, but unfortunately it is. If you have trouble with your children you’ve done something wrong, apparently. If your children are wonderful, you’ve done something right. Of course, we’ve been a huge influence on our children. But unless we’ve home schooled them and lived on a farm in the middle of nowhere with no other human contact, we haven’t been the only one. Is it fair to judge a life by someone else’s choices?

Yes, life is messy. We pick ourselves up and we go on. We work, we play, we laugh and we make love. We go on vacation, and we come back to a pile of bills to pay; we look for work and we don’t find it. We rail against the elected officials, but when election time comes around we are too busy to vote. We make decisions and live to regret them. We ask for second chances, and sometimes we get them.

You have to admit, though, it’s a beautiful mess.

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