During this past week I have been spending time thinking about disappointment. True, honest disappointment…the gut wrenching kind that comes suddenly and without warning. The type that often leaves you with the feeling of sadness or displeasure that haunts, when hopes, aspirations or expectations are not fulfilled.
When this happens I am usually able to pick myself up, wipe off my scrapes and keep on trekking following such a disappointment; however, not this time. Could it be because I am getting older? Am I used to being disappointed? Am I jaded? Or, have I had enough?
There is no two ways about it; we have all experienced disappointment. We’ve been disappointed in ourselves, others, outcomes, the weather, our job and just about anything else we can think of.
Most of the time I am proud to say I am able to overcome disappointment. I take it in stride. I try to find the good in every situation and move on, proving this basic quality of champions. Disappointment can break down the spirit of many people, and this past week I have watched it break down mine. This is life. In all of our lives, I have learned we each have to face our fair share of disappointments and setbacks. After all, that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? Or so I have been told.
For once I have decided not to list the many woes leading to the many disappointments I have experienced lately. Let’s just say they range from several medical setbacks, financial hurdles (my continual frustration with our ever declining Social Security disability system) and the people in life who are supposed to boost you up when you are down are the ones who continue to offer nothing but negativity — the toxic people who suck the life out of you.
The purpose of my blog was to tell the story of my spinal cord injury, the ongoing experience with Dr. Liar, the obstacle with my employer, countless doctor appointments as well as challenging other ordeals. However, I also wanted to help motivate others who are experiencing difficult times in their lives. It isn’t my objective to have a blog where I whine and complain. I want an inspirational, uplifting and motivational blog. However, no matter what I do, the words on this blank page, are anything but motivational. I promise to do better and to work on my attitude and come back stronger. After all, I am only human. Maybe this is another way to experience some of what is going on in the world and to reach out to others.
To be honest, I try to only expose myself to positive energy. I seldom watch the news since it is only filled with heartache and silliness. However, there are times when I catch a glimpse of what is going on in the world. The madness in the political arena, the horrible storms, tornadoes and the sadness of more killings, neglected babies and abused children. While there are more people on unemployment, the government reports the statistics differently to favor what they want people to believe. Unemployment is at its highest and most people aren’t spending money, which is reflected in the declining economy.
Also, why is it professional sport teams seem to have unlimited budgets, but schools are cutting back on valuable educational programs and laying off teachers? While I consider myself one of the Philadelphia Phillies biggest fans, is it necessary to charge $100+ to attend a game? Does first basemen Ryan Howard need to earn $138 million over six years? That works out to $23 million per season although experts agree he is only worth $13 million per season based on his stats. Does he feel guilty for making the extra $10 million?
I must mention it again…to me, it seems as if somewhere along the way things have gotten a bit screwed up. Honest every day people are being laid off…my husband, our PA neighbors, my sister-in-law, just to name a few. How are people supposed to pay their bills? Have we gotten to be such a selfish society where no one cares? If we did, wouldn’t someone be doing something? That disappointments me more than anything…that we are a society that doesn’t care about one another.
Since I have been struggling with personal disappointment I decided to look for ways to best handle it. I found a few that captured my attention.
I found maybe if I viewed life as an adventure it would allow me to enjoy the greatest variety of experiences. I would still have the expectation of adventure, but I haven’t hemmed it into a preconceived package. Instead, I have made myself open to just about anything that comes along and my enthusiasm remains high. Life is always an experience. If I can do that, maybe I will enjoy the ride. Just maybe.
Secondly, there are valuable lessons in every experience we have. How do you feel about these life lessons? Truth be told, some of our most profound learning comes from situations that didn’t turn out the way we thought they would. Much of the time we get what we need rather than what we want. If learning and growing is a top priority, we will find reasons to appreciate a wide range of outcomes and experiences.
In the long run, it’s mostly up to us to decide what value we place on any experience. I believe if we are looking for disappointment, that’s what we are going to find. Things don’t always turn out the way we might like, that’s a fact we all live with. However, I can honestly say I didn’t go into my appointments looking for disappointing results or hoping things would change. They just did. So now I have to accept my fate and move forward whether I like it or not. One foot in front of the other. However, I must admit…it’s easier said than done. And, regarding this post, was it rather disappointing?…I hope not!
©My Unplanned Life and www.shakinguplife.wordpress.com, 2012.