As the New Year was quickly approaching last night, I could hear laughter from downstairs. My wife and her father were laughing at a cousin’s blog posts with a hearty laughter that seems to have become extinct to me. The past few years have successfully sucked the joy and laughter out of me and, frankly, I just don’t like it.
Once upon a time, I used to be a fun person. Once upon a time, I was a practical joker. Once upon a time, I may have been someone that people liked to hang around with, but lately, I think I’ve been a bit sour.
Life is life, there is no avoiding it. There will be mountains, there will be valleys. There will be sunshine, there will be storms and rain. There will be things that we can change and things that are completely and totally unavoidable. The challenge with all of these things is how I will react to all of them. My tendency is to expect and almost feel entitled to the good moments in life and become bitter with all of the challenges.
It’s easy to lose when you play the Comparison Game. You know the one of which I speak, right? Compared to him, I hardly have any friends. Compared to her, I have no talents at all. Compared to them, we look like we’re paupers. It’s an endless cycle, a cycle which will just lead us to frustration and discontent, a cycle which I’ve been working hard to avoid yet which somehow seems to suck me back into it more and more.
I can’t control situations and circumstances, but I can control how I respond to them, and that’s a task that I need to invest in more than I have been. Life’s not going to stop throwing curveballs at me (or you, for that matter), there’s no avoiding them. The best approach is to just figure out how to hit those curves, but lately, I seem to be having trouble with the curve.
So, while I’m not one for resolutions, I’m hoping that 2015 is the year of learning how to respond. How to respond to criticism. How to respond to change. How to respond to difficulty. How to respond to loss. How to respond to joy. How to respond to gifts. How to respond to compliments. How do I respond to the things that cross my path?
Somehow putting things down in writing makes them more real to me. I’ve got enough friends around me who will hold me accountable to this challenge for 2015, and a whole lot of readers who could easily just stop reading when they realize that my responses are still lacking.
My first task of 2015 is to respond to health difficulties by registering for a 10K run. Once I’m past that, I’ll figure out what’s next. Gonna take this one step at a time!
Happy New Year! Here we go!