I tell you, if this is what getting older is like, you can have it because I don't want any.
In the last month, I've had a long time friend diagnosed with breast cancer and subsequently have a mastectomy, another long time friend die suddenly of a heart attack at age 45, and today I learned that a wonderful friend and fellow preeclampsia survivor has lost her second baby, who was stillborn after suffering multiple heart defects.
It just seems like everywhere I look these days I see examples of how hard, unfair and even brutal life can be. It's not like this just occurred, and the world suddenly became a difficult place full of struggling, pain and loss. I know it's always been that way, and always will be, but I guess it's just hitting close to home right now.
I have wonderful networks of friends online, in both the autism and preeclampsia communities, and we all carry burdens each day. We like to share the weight of them by leaning on others, telling our stories, complaining, venting etc, but sometimes it seems like there's just so much weight to carry that even when we share we can't lift it. Moms of precious kids on the spectrum who hurt themselves and others, don't speak, are still in diapers, and the valiant families behind them who work hard every day to give them good lives and happiness. Ladies who can't conceive, or who did so but have lost a baby due to miscarriage or through stillbirth. Moms of preemies, who delivered babies far before their time and suffer through weeks or months of hospitalization and lifelong delays or disabilities. And on top of that, illnesses and deaths in my own circle of local friends.......sometimes I think this is just too hard.
Now I know what people mean when they talk about feeling like a hamster on that stupid wheel that they like to play on. You just keep running, keep trying, but never really get anywhere. You get up in the morning, get on the wheel, and valiantly begin. Work hard all day, only to feel like you're in the exact same place by nighttime (maybe even a bit further behind, if you're tired). Sleep a bit, get up and start it all over again. Is that why they call it a rat race?
I don't want it to be that way. I don't want to have my eyes fixed on the wheel and only the wheel........I want to notice what's around me, and allow myself to enjoy the little things that DO remind you that it's worth it, this thing called life. The way little E laughs, A's hugs and how he tells me he loves me so much that he can't even carry all of his love, smiles on the faces of students when they perform well and succeed. But those things are crowded out lately, by the losses and the pain and the struggle. I'm not so sure about that saying "that which does not kill us makes us stronger." That's looking like a pile of BS right now.