Welcome to life. You're fucked. How's that for a "happy hump day!", eh?
Life is a challenge. From the minute we are born we are fighting for survival.
I've been bombarded lately with stories of uphill battles. I know people who have lost jobs. I know people fighting brain tumors. I know people battling deep, crippling, drug addictions. I know people who have lost someone close. I knew people I've now lost. What's going on?
This is life. Life is nothing if not a series of challenges to overcome. So with worlds crashing down on us, what do we do?
We just...do something. We don't let these situations own us, break us down. We find some way to keep going. We become resilient.
I had brunch and Bloody Marys with a friend on Sunday and she shared this quote with me:
"If it's important you find a way. If it's not, you find an excuse."
Here's the thing, in all of those situations I mentioned above these people are facing great struggles. But in each and every situation they are still still moving forward. They are finding a way to deal with their struggles because that's important. When they cannot, there are people stepping in to help.
Abby is a 20-something person I know battling a brain tumor. That's not easy. That situation sucks. It's sad. It's terrible. What the hell? But in her story, people did something about it. The people of Culvers held that day in her honor and other people responded. I posted Abby's story on Facebook and my friends and family did something. They liked it, they shared it and called for their friends to participate. Many of the people I spoke with actually did participate, sending me texts showing their support of Abby.
These people did something.
The title of my post is a reference to Martin Atkins' book "Welcome to the Music Business. You're Fucked." In one key passage, Martin says this:
"GET THE FUCK OUT OF BED! Before you hire someone you don’t really know to help you – help yourself! A few extra hours every morning or late at night (unless you are a drunken fuck-head) start to add up pretty quickly. An extra five hours a day equals 35 hours a week OR 140 hours a month of special, quiet, and productive time."
Martin is talking about how if something is important you find a way, you give that effort. Now, no amount of effort can assure you won't wake up tomorrow with cancer, or that your dog won't get hit by a bus. Life has its twists and turns. It's accepting that and how we respond to those twists and turns that builds our character and enriches us and those around us. It's accepting that "it's life and we're fucked", and just keep going anyway.
“When problems overwhelm us and sadness smothers us, where do we find the will and the courage to continue? Well, the answer may come in the caring voice of a friend, a chance encounter with a book, or from a personal faith. For Janet, help came from her faith, but it also from a squirrel. Shortly after her divorce, Janet lost her father, then she lost her job. She had mounting money problems. But Janet not only survived, she worked her way out of despondency and now she says, life is good again. How could this happen? She told me that late one Autumn day when she was at her lowest she watched a squirrel storing up nuts for the winter, one at a time he would take them to the nest. And she thought, if that squirrel can take care of himself with the harsh winter coming along, then so can I. Once I broke my problems into small pieces I was able to carry them, just like those acorns, one at a time.”