Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies who will dazzle you with insight on various topics. After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:
Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.
Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.
Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World
For this week, Denise chose: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Man, ain’t that the truth? I mean, something good has to come out of a truly difficult situation. The silver lining better be there, somewhere, otherwise, what’s the point? A good friend of mine once said that making the right choice most likely will be the hardest road you have to walk on, and for good reason. That’s how life lessons are made and how we build that thick outer skin required to survive on God’s green earth. While I’ve seen plenty of sunshiny days with a life filled with happiness, I’ve also seen a lot that makes me want to clutch at my chest in pain and agony.
What hasn’t killed me but made me stronger?
1. Having my kids. It all started with a fear of needles. I don’t do needles, not unless absolutely necessary, so you can imagine the answer I gave when asked if I wanted to have an epidural. I freaked out when a shunt was placed into my hand. The nurses made me do it, just in case I needed fluids or something. My firstborn’s delivery pales in comparison to the second. I won’t ever forget the pain, which was worse after he was already out of my body. I had severe cramping, and you better believe I was asking for pain meds then, but I wasn’t listed in the hospital’s “system” yet to receive any drugs, and I ended up waiting with excruciating pain for over 90 minutes. I felt I was dying, pale and shaking. I was like an addict whenever a nurse walked in, grabbing at their scrubs, begging for relief. I know, that doesn’t sound like a very good experience, but leading up to that I think it went pretty well. I don’t begrudge anyone’s personal choice when it comes to their own babies- epidural or otherwise. Delivering a baby in and of itself can be equatable to running a marathon, but I have to admit I’m proud of myself and the choice I made to go natural. Even if it did hurt like hell.
2. The death of a loved one. When my friend Jill died, it killed me. I think to some extent I am still recovering from it and always will be. There are moments where I want to visit her or share something with her, and I can’t do that. And I’m no good with not being allowed to do something I want to do. It makes me want to do it all the more, and while I know I can talk to her in spirit, I can’t see those obnoxious facial expressions she’d make when she thought I was doing something stupid, or hear her voice when she’d laugh at me for doing something stupid. As much as we picked on each other, I know we loved each other a whole lot. People will always enter and exit my life but few make a life-long lasting impression on me, and she did that. Not just for my life but for everyone who knew her. Whether that impression was good or bad, no one can forget or ever will forget Jill. She was tough and kicked ass, and when I’m feeling doubt about a situation I say to myself, “What would Jill Erin do?” I channel some of that toughness.
3. Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks. My sister and I were recently reminiscing about our childhoods. It was so different when were young whippersnappers. I was allowed to go and do whatever I wanted, little sis in tow. We didn’t live in the best of neighborhoods. There were drugs, there was drinking, there were scary people in and out of our lives and we witnessed more than two little girls should ever be privy to. Yet two things happened. One, we figured out how to survive our environment. And two, we got out. Our focus has always been on how to be better than what we saw as children, swearing never to be like that with our own. While I am glad my boys have it good, I appreciate where I came from. It made me adaptable, appreciable, and strong.
4. Running a marathon. Years ago, I was watching Road Rules/Real World on MTV. It was an episode where the challenge was running a race, and the girl running was someone who was used to doing 5K’s and what not. I remember watching her and thinking she was NUTS! It didn’t look fun or like anything I’d ever want to do, not ever. NEVER. Fast forward roughly fifteen years, and there I was at the Omaha marathon, at mile 20, forcing myself to continue on. I thought for sure I’d have to stop and lie down. There were plenty of medics around who could assist me onto their golf carts and whisk me away to someplace with shade, preferably air conditioning. That became a dream for me, the thought of a place where I could just sit with air conditioning. My body was screaming at me, upset that I’d ever embarked on the journey to run 26.2 miles, but in the end I did it. I wasn’t going to complete 20 miles and give up. I ran it in over 5 hours, with a lot of walking sprinkled in, but I finished it and that’s all that mattered to me. I worked hard, I trained hard, and I could finally say I ran a marathon.
What hasn’t killed you but made you stronger?