Sometimes life comes at us like a speeding train, out of control, threatening to fly off the tracks. I wonder if we’re on the train or sitting on the tracks. At other times it arrives with humor which is enjoyed later, like a lovely banana cream pie in the face. Were you too shocked to eat the pie? I fear none of us can be spared from life’s foibles, fears and follies. Along the way we find heartache, joys, love and a whole variety on the emotional spectrum of life. The question seems to be, is Goodie Two-Shoes up to the task or does the wolf win?
Let’s look at the issues: Questions first.
1. Is life, like the big bad wolf, out to get you and me?
2. Will I survive?
3. Can I take it?
4. Why do pain, suffering and illness have to happen?
5. Is there something I did wrong to make this happen to me?
6. Is life really worth it when I have to live with chronic pain?
7. Does it help to fight back?
8. Is there any sunshine amidst the rain?
9. Will I ever laugh again?
10.Does anybody care about me?
Now let’s look at Sue’s answers which you can either take or leave in the forest along with the wolf.
1. Yes, life is out to get you. It’s an imperfect world. We are faced with danger on a daily basis, and to name a few, there are stairs, gravity, speeding cars, diseases, idiots, drunken drivers, wasps, some poorly informed doctors, and low flying birds dropping doo, doo. Yep, it truly is a jungle out there but you don’t have to be anyone’s dinner.
2. Your survival will depend greatly on the decisions you make, the medical care you choose and follow, your daily habits and your inner core of hope. Only a fool goes to a physician and doesn’t follow his/her advice; then why do so many of us do it? Sometimes we run into a doctor who simply doesn’t know as much about our particular disease as we do. For instance, when I was recently in the hospital, I had a doctor, the only one there called a hospitalist. Do beware of that new trend in your local hospital. Sometimes it works well and at other times, not so much. It simply means once you are admitted you are cared for by a hospitalist, not your own physician. Can’t say I’m a fan of that particular “advancement” in modern medicine.
3. Life with chronic pain is difficult… “no kidding”, you’re saying. I know, it’s an understatement. It would be unprofessional of me, as a retired RN, to say sometimes life sucks and can also hurt like hell; therefore, I won’t say it.
4. I don’t claim to be a famous philosopher and I’ve certainly asked myself this question many times, but I do have a theory. I think pain and suffering hone us in their fires like strong steel and open our eyes, our hearts and our minds to things, ideas and possibilities we would never find otherwise; much like a spoiled child who is never told “No.” Sure, it would be lovely to never have school, but we’d be ignorant. It would be wonderful to never face chores, but we’d live in filth and mayhem. It would be such a hoot to go to Disneyland everyday but soon we’d grow tired of Mickey shaped suckers, tired of wearing the Mickey and Minnie hats and the glitter would fade. We’d also run out of money. We need contrasts in this world in order to grow, learn and achieve.
5. No. In most cases you probably did nothing wrong to bring on this disease. Of course, we all know smoking leads to lung cancer, driving while drunk causes accidents and picking at a wound delays healing, but most of the time life just happens, so stop picking. Many of us carry around a predisposition to illness from our ancestors and can’t really blame them because the blame game would go on and on forever. They would have to blame their mother and father, and so forth. It would go on and on forever like the “begets” in the Old Testament. What a waste of time and energy that game would be. We can’t choose our DNA; at least not yet, and hopefully never. The world would be too weird if we all looked like Barbie and Ken dolls. Oh Goodie, hold my barf bag for me. Yuk.
6. The whole question of worth is an individual one. I can’t make you love life as I do. I cannot instill hope in your heart if it is not living there already. I have a very simple scale regarding the worth of life. The song of a bird outside the window, the intricate design of a spiders web, the hug of a giggling grandchild, the soft, moist breath of a puppy or kitten, the scent of fresh lavender growing in a pot, the simple favor performed by a loved one, oh my, I could go on all day. Worth? You’re on your own on that one. I happen to think each of us has worth and that of course, includes you. I adhere to the ancient philosophy, “You and I are made in the image of God and God doesn’t make junk.”
7. Yes, of course it helps to fight back. Why do we go to the doctor? Why do we eat correctly, take vitamins and do those nasty stretches as much as we are able? You and I must fight back every day. A muscle not used becomes flabby, weak and frankly, ugly. A mind not used becomes dull and unchallenged, and yes, Possibly ugly, also. There are no steamrollers allowed to run over us, except in Road Runner cartoons. We are not doormats in the catalog of life. We are beautiful and beauty is always worth fighting for.
8. Personally, I think sunshine is overrated. Maybe that’s because I’m allergic to the sun, but I still respect the fact the flowers need it, as well as all other vegetation, children love to play in it and we all need the Vitamin D provided by sunlight. To me, there is nothing wrong with a rainy day with the wind and raindrops hitting the windows, the house all warm and cozy. It takes the rain to make the vegetation grow, the rivers and streams to fill and mankind to survive. Rain also cleanses, refreshes and restores life. When I look out on the sparkling azure blue river eight blocks below and the hundreds of shades of green on the trees, bushes and ferns, I feel most blessed. None of it would be there without rain.
9. It’s a funny thing…pun, pun, about laughter, because it seldom comes knocking at the door. It lives within us but has to be tickled and cultivated. We can find joy in everything around us if we open our eyes to see it. Our little Yorkshire terrier, George, most happy dogs has a play trigger that can be flipped quite easily. All I have to do is look at him in a certain way or hold my fingers as if I am going to try to flick him on the nose and he’s raring to go. Don’t worry, I seldom actually give him a flick on the nose and afterwards, when play is over, I hold out my hand and he comes over for a lick. All of nature gives us examples of humor such as a crow having the nerve to join a bunch of seagulls fighting over a scrap of bread down by the river, chickens who insist in sleeping on my friends front porch or the playfulness of a baby elephant. The world can be a dark place but often we bring home the darkness when we don’t have to. Watch happier TV and films. Read uplifting books. Get out of the house even if it does mean changing clothes and just look at other human beings. There is laughter everywhere, just waiting to be used. Try smiling at everyone you see in the market…it’s contagious.
10.Yes, put most simply, many people and critters who love you care about you. Many fine individuals you don’t even know you, want you to be happy and as well as possible. For instance, why do you think people like me become nurses and doctors? It wasn’t for the hours, the working conditions or the money; well, maybe the pay for the doctors but I believe most of them truly earn it. It’s my most fervent belief, if you are my fellow human being, you have value. If you screw it up, well, that’s a shame because you weren’t born screwed up. Some are born with disabilities and it’s amazing how sound and wonderful many of them are. You can overcome, adapt and yes change. I want you to, otherwise, why would I be lying here on a sore sitter and heating pad spending my time writing this?
Therefore, we know being Goodie Two-Shoes is a good thing to be and the Big Bad Wolf is all teeth and if he gets a bite out of you or me now and then, there is no rule about biting back. You also have teeth don’t you?