Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Perspective

A friend sent me this picture last night and it served to bring home a number of things. A little epiphany, if you will. Yesterday, I was more or less bitching, whining, and moaning because I was a little depressed. Yes, and thanks for all the private emails from concerned friends. You know I love you all to pieces.

Thing is, while I was wallowing in some weird funk, Australia was burning. As of now roughly 175 people have died, more are missing, and entire towns have been destroyed in fires that now appear to be arson. Arson? Who could do such a thing? So many of us have been watching the television and news reports as the horror unfolds. For me, it brings back how millions of us felt several years ago when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. I recalled the inaction of our government and how the rest of us cried over the voices we heard begging across the airwaves...someone, anyone, please save us. We are dying here. I remember the airport luggage conveyor belts were stacked with dead bodies and people lay dead in the dirty streets. New Orleans died before our eyes and it is our prayer that one day it'll be reborn into it's full glory. I live in Texas and many refugees came here looking for shelter and basic necessities. We held our arms open. Some returned home to Louisianna and others decided to stay.

Last night I realized that we seem to focus like a laser beam on things that really don't amount to a hill of beans. Yes, we get upset about silly things that happen but in the scheme of things they mean nothing. At the moment I'm happy that I have shelter for my family. I can feed them simply by walking into my kitchen. Everyone is healthy and happy. I love them and they love me right back. All the rest, those little nagging problems, is hubris. Unimportant in the face of what others are dealing with. Today I'll hug my daughter as she leaves for class and tell her I love her. My husband will get the same treatment. I will call my son and have the supreme pleasure of hearing his voice. I will laugh with friends and work a little but in the midst of it all, I will be thankful for what I have. I will tell those I love how I feel. The rest is bullshit in the face of these horrific events.

21 comments:

Connie Northrop said...

I hope this doesn't sound like a lecture, it's just my take on your thoughts.

Yes, you're right, we do it a lot. I've had some really nasty health things happen to me and have even been asked by nurses how I keep going. I always told them it never occurred to me not too. Why? I spent a lot of time in a children's hospital as a kid. I saw kids with missing limbs, kids that wouldn't grow up and some that would live forever in a chair unable to do anything for themselves. I was horrified to realize there was probably a good brain in there that wouldn't get out. I have problems, some of them really bad but I can still walk (so far), I can still see and I'm alive. All of which were questionable at various times of my life. I even know what it was like to be paralyzed for a time. They lost me twice and then nearly my son and me at the same time.

People wonder why I use '!' so much. I try to live that way. I love and tell people they are loved, I laugh and dance in the rain and try every day to tell someone how much I appreciate them. It's ok to be down for a time, just don't stay there. Life is magic, enjoy it.

Regina Carlysle said...

Doesn't sound like a lecture to me at all. It's the truth. We take so much for granted and tend to sometimes get caught up in little dramas that are completely unimportant. I personally LIKE people who emphasize !!!!!!!!!!!! It means you have joy in your heart and your excited about life. BTW...I tend to do this a lot too!!!!!!!!!! Just like those damn little DOTS I seem so hooked on LOL. Frankly, I'm happy there are people around like YOU, my friend.

Connie Northrop said...

Thanks! I don't think my nephew shared your opinion when I was PMSing the last few days. LOL

It helps to have a community like this that actually cares about people they've never actually seen. When I need a pick up I often find one here.

Just, please no singing "don't worry, be happy" or I might lose my dinner. LOL

Amy Ruttan said...

These fires hit way too close to home for me.

One of my best friends from highschool married an Aussie and lives there, right where the fires are.

I haven't been able to get a hold of her, I can't tell you how freaked I am.

Amy Ruttan said...

I can also relate to Connie. I almost lost my newborn son. It was a hard month watching him in NICU, but he pulled through and it changed my whole perspective on life.

Use Auntie Mame's mantra "Live, live, live life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death." :)

Regina Carlysle said...

Been hearing so many sad stories about these people and what they are going through. Tragic. I hope you hear something from your friend soon, Amy

Anne Rainey said...

This is so awful. My heart goes out to them.

Amy--I hope you hear soon! I'll be sending lots of positive thoughts her way.

Connie--You've really been through a lot and yet you're still smiling. It's wonderful to know you! {{{hugs}}}

anny cook said...

It's always easier to moan and groan until something like this slaps us up the side of the head. Sad that we need the "attitude adjustment" so often!

Amy, I hope you hear from your friends real soon. However, just know that much of the power is out so it may simply be a power problem.

Teri Thackston said...

You are so right. I was feeling sorry for myself the other day, too, over something really silly. And then I heard about health problems from a dear cousin and the fires in Australia and I just wanted to slap myself. It's all about perspective.
Teri

Jesse Fox said...

These fires have been in the forefront of my thoughts for a few days. One of my best friends lives in Queensland and her younger brother is a firefighter out in the thick of things. She's worried sick about him and is infuriated with the idea that her brother is out there, in danger, because of arsonists.

You're right about perspective. I actually was having a bad patch myself until she contacted me and the idea that she might lose her brother gave me a quick kick in the ass. I consider her my sister and I've been praying non-stop not just for her and her family, but for all those families who have lost loved ones out there.

It definitely puts things in perspective.

Regina Carlysle said...

Seems like lately there has been lots of DRAMA over things that no one will even REMEMBER a year from now. Little things and misunderstandings and last night I suddenly realized they were so unimportant. Staying positive is huge. If we put as much energy into helping out when BIG THINGS happen and forgot the little stuff, the world would be a better place.

Maddie James said...

Regina, you are so right. I've been wallowing myself, as of late, in the "stuff" of life that is truly bullshit. Stop it, Maddie! Yes, that's me, talking to myself. But sometimes we gotta do that, ya know? Thanks for the message and the pertinent post. Timely, indeed. Now I'm gonna go write a happy ending. :)

Regina Carlysle said...

Happy Ending is right, Maddie. We all need those especially when times are harsh and scary. It reminds me this is the reason most of us write. We want to bring a little light onto the scene. Maybe it'll help in some way.

Mona Risk said...

What a good blog Regina. My brother in law family's lives in Australia and we were concerned about them. But what gave me a wake-up call two weeks ago was the tragedy that hit Martha. I had a couple of sleepless night and decided that nothing is as important as having my family safe and healthy, even though some members have lost their jobs.

Julia Barrett said...

Yup! I try to remember that every single day. I work with dying people. All the unimportant stuff falls away when you're dealing with that...Love is where it's at, baby. Keep your chin up.

Rynne Raines said...

Well said.

Kelley Nyrae said...

Great post, Rita! I do things like this all the time. I'll have a bad day and instead of focusing on all the good things in my life I think about the bad. My heart goes out to those dealing with the fires. I can't imagine.

Amy Ruttan said...

I hope it's just the power. Thanks ladies. :)

Regina Carlysle said...

It's easy to get bogged down in day to day stuff and let the little things just eat at you. Lately I've whined and whined about stupid stuff...getting my feelings hurt over dumb crap that means nothing. It's just time to get a grip.

Been thinking that if I made a list of good things vs. bad things in my life, the GOOD would win.

Mary Ricksen said...

Thank God for what we do have. I try to remember that every time I feel sorry for myself.
And then something like the fires happens, and then I feel foolish, I still have a roof over my head. A lot of people don't even have that.

Regina Carlysle said...

I know Mary. I watched President Obama's town hall meeting on television today. There was a woman in the audience who had me bawling. Because of a job loss, her family lost their home and are living in their CAR. It was heartbreaking to hear her talk about this.