One thing I've learned over the years is that life is never all good and it's never all bad. Some times are better than others and some are worse than others, but neither lasts forever. Also, if you pay attention, no matter how bad things are you can always find something good somewhere. Conversely, if you're the type, no matter how good things are you can always find something bad somewhere. In my experience, the really good times are easy. (Thank you, Captain Obvious) I also have an easier time dealing with life when it's bad, bad, bad. Not to say it isn't hard, but thanks to the Bible, AA and Al-Anon, I've got tools. And when life is bad, I get out those tools. And I use them. I'm in church, I'm in meetings, I'm in the Bible, I'm in prayer, I'm in my Big Book, I'm working the steps, the 3rd, 7th and 11th step prayers are on my mind constantly. I'm praying for guidance, I'm looking for the lesson, I'm asking for help. I work my butt off to get to the other side.
Then there's the some good, some bad times. Where I've got some good things going on and I've got some bad things going on, but not one more than the other. Because what usually seems to happen is I find out that someone's been boiling frogs and I'm the frog.
Explanation - if you're going to boil a live frog and you throw him in boiling water, he's just going to jump out. But if you put him in a pot of cool water and slowly turn up the heat, he'll adjust with the water until he's boiled to death. (I seriously don't want to know how this was first discovered. Just work with me people.)
Well, I'm the frog again.
I have some super amazing things going on in my life. I have not one, but two new babies coming into the family in a matter of weeks. I just turned 40 which was a miracle and was seriously spoiled by friends and family. I just got to spend the week-end with family I haven't seen in decades. I just got to spend Spring Break with two of my granddaughters. And my husband and I are in a really good place in our marriage right now.
However, it has occurred to me that there's some bad stuff going on too. I've spent a lot of time lately waiting for the other shoe to drop in two major areas. Areas that I've had some experience in the past and so they're producing a lot of fear.
#1 - last year we got a lot of rain. One of the wettest years in a long time. It was wonderful. The grass grew tall and pretty. This year. No rain. In months. Driest March on record. That tall pretty grass is now called fuel. Grass fires are everywhere. No rain in the forecast. High temps, low humidity and high winds - the triad of grass fires - are in the forecast. So far there have been no grass fires in our area. That will change. If we don't get rain, that will change. Three years ago, we had one close to our house. One of the scariest experiences of my life. And another one in town affecting a lot of people I know. So I have been rather obsessively watching the weather reports, news of fires, watching the skies for smoke. If someone is barbecuing, I panic. I start freaking out and looking around for smoke plumes. The husband does the same thing. We talk about it A LOT. I didn't realize just how much it consumes my time until the other day.
#2 - There have been some major budget cuts at work. There will be more. How bad will depend on the state legislature. There will be layoffs. I don't know if I will be one of them. The husband and I work at the same place. I don't know if he will be one of them. People I know and care about may be getting laid off. Best case scenario is we keep our jobs, but the work has to be done so it gets doubled/tripled and still has to be done in 40 hours. I don't even want to think about worst case scenario. I've been there. It's not fun. We live in a small town. I have no idea what we'll do. The thing is, we won't know anything really and truly definite until around July. We keep getting updates. It's all we talk about around here. My boss is stressed out and I've been his sounding board (not complaining, just a fact). The husband and I talk about it ad nauseum. Who will it be? What can they cut? What are they going to do? What are we going to do?
Not much I can do about either one except realize that the water has been getting turned up without me really paying attention to it and all those tools I listed are still available to me as long as I pick them up and use them. I don't have the power to turn the water back down but I do have the power to keep from getting boiled alive.
Acts 17:27-28 (NIV) God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being.
Philippians 4:6 (NIV) Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.