So today I am mulling on how I cope with both.
I want to take inspiration from Kipling’s If (I know, I know, I have mentioned this poem before as an inspiration) but listen again. It’s these two lines:
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same.
Can you? Can I? Can any of us truly meet the good stuff and the bad stuff with the same resolve, the same determination to learn our lessons from it?
This week I had a fabulous day – and for once I let it play out, last as long as it could (not force it though). I truly tasted it, felt it and owned it. I can remember what it felt like on my skin, in my body. I can take myself back to moments of it and remember. It wasn’t a big deal. It was just a great day.
I also had a shit day (sorry for the language, Mum, if you are reading this). It started well and rapidly tipped into rubbish faster than a lightening bolt smashing into a tree. And the repercussions lasted too. Numbness first, then the slow dawning of implications playing out, impacting on others. You know when you spill paint, and it doesn’t just get on the carpet where you spill it, but it gets on shoes, gets trod around the house, gets on clothes and generally buggers up far more than you first think it might.
A wise friend asked me what I had learnt through the day. Apart from the obvious ‘shit happens’.
I learnt what I can contain and what I can’t. That what I wish for isn’t all that happens. That other people want different things, behave in different ways and have different priorities.
I also learnt that other people have shitter days quite regularly, and don’t bleat on about them.
I don’t want to ‘bottle’ this day in the same way as my good day, but I do want to remember it. I want to hold on to the point where I realize that actually only so much I can do. The learning that I need to take responsibility for my part of bad days and let other people take responsibility for theirs. If they don’t, they don’t and that’s their problem, not mine.
For both days I found my ring useful – the ring I got for Christmas last year. It’s got an inscription on it that I’ve written about before: This too shall pass.
A weekend or two ago I was on the top of the world. I smashed through a one-inch block of wood with my fist, I bent steel bars, I walked on fire. I realized I could do anything.
Today as I look back on both good and bad things days I realize that yes, I can do anything – and that includes both good things and bad things. Equally, things will happen to me and around me – again these might be both good and bad.
I thought for a moment when splitting that block that I might be defined by the things I did. Reflecting now I think I’ve grasped that that’s not the answer. It’s also about how I respond to the things around me – maximizing the good, minimizing the bad – and holding on to whats important to me through both.