La La How The Life Goes On

Start Singing

Posted on: May 23, 2014

May has not been my month. First week, I ended up needing rather immediate and bizarre surgery. Turned out fine but was unexpected, exhausting and schedule-destroying. Second week the little one got strep. Midway through that, the older one got the flu. Both got better after a full week off school, but it was unexpected, exhausting and schedule-destroying. Third week OF COURSE I got strep AND the flu. Simultaneously. And I’m still not better. I’m exhausted. I feel like I slept under a car. The ramifications of having a subpar immune system just keep on coming at me, kamikaze-like, in nonstop waves. And, if I can say just between you and me, it’s really wearing me down. So I’ve been in a physical and mental funk all week. Just wishing my kids had a mom who could care for them when they are sick without having to worry about getting their infections too. Because I don’t just get what they have; I get it times ten, always with the bonus worry that it will go septic and I’ll die. And then, as much as I really don’t want to die from strep, I really really really don’t ever want my girls to ever feel like it was their fault. Which is why I never say, “oh I got strep from Bambina” within their earshot, because it’s nobody’s fault. It’s just The Way of The Germ. But The Way of The Germ is to decimate the weak immune system. And mine frequently obliges.

So whenever I’m in a funk I immediately start searching for ways out of that funk. I know there are people who love nothing more than a week- or month- or life-long boohoopoorme pityfest. I do not. I know I could be that person and maybe no one would fault me for it. But it’s not me; that hair shirt don’t fit.

So I watched copious amounts of Bravo TV while lying immobile on my couch. Million Dollar Listing NY never fails to cheer me up. I love every single insane one of those brokers, so the 102 temp felt better as I’m watching cocky Ryan freak out in the creepy basement of an old Murray Hill townhouse. At least I’m having a better day than him! Although he wins in the end with that 6-figure commission…

Then I go to Facebook, which proves a mixed bag. On the one hand there are the posts (from people I’ve now unfollowed) who are DEVASTATED to be 12 pounds overweight or omg this restaurant sucks! right next to an awesome, brave woman contending with ovarian cancer, a family member handling the multiple challenges of fatherhood and a rare cancer diagnosis like a goddamn boss, and friends remembering a classmate who passed last year leaving little kids behind. The latter give me hope and a reminder that my little bit of suffering might be the kind someone would gladly trade for. The former remind me that sometimes people without problems need to invent some for dramatic purposes. Or that maybe sometimes a person’s definition of “problem” could use some expansion and updating. And if only they knew how lucky they are to be so clueless.

So I was teetering between inspired and semi-bitter when my girl Kay-Tay posted the following commencement speech by Admiral McRaven.

He outlines Ten Things to do to change the world, based on his career as a USNavy SEAL. I read it while waiting for a lung CT scan to see if I have TB or pneumonia or whateverthehellelse, after being told our insurance might not pay for it, feeling totally defeated. And I get to his Ninth Thing to do to change the world and literally start crying (quietly, to myself, cause I don’t do public garment-rending) in the doctors office:

When you’re up to your neck in mud, start singing.

Boom. Yes. Just one voice. Just start singing. Even though you don’t think you can. Someone else up to his neck will hear you, gain hope and strength, and he’ll start singing too. Then someone else. And someone else. And their voices will give YOU hope and strength, and your combined voices will raise more voices.

So this is me. Singing. Join in if you need to, if you too are feeling like you’re up to your neck in mud. And then, together, let’s take his advice on number Ten as well: Don’t ever, ever ring the bell.


1 Response to "Start Singing"

Beautiful perspective as always! Feel better soon!!!

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