Survivor. (I might have to vote MYSELF off the island.)

I’ve been fighting a battle for over 880 days.  And while this battle isn’t one that involves an enemy army bent on my destruction using swords or guns and probable death, the scars and pain from each skirmish I’ve been in run deep, and will most likely take years to recover from.  The hardest part of the battle is the knowledge that the shrapnel has wounded those souls that I hold dearest in my heart; and that is just something else I will have carry with me on this journey.

I’ve learned many things on this last particular leg of the journey.  Some of them have been very painful and heartbreaking, and others have been surprising and joyful.  But the most important lesson I’ve learned so far, I think, is that THIS is my life.  The path I’m on this minute is my life.

Not ten years from now, not five years from now, not one year from now, and not even one month from now, but today; today is the day that I’ve been waiting for my whole life, and it’s the one I need to make the most of.

I wake up in the morning and sometimes think to myself, “Jesus, I wonder what’s gonna get thrown at me today?”  And typically, it’s something big.  No, it can’t be anything like a broken nail, or a bad haircut, a poor grade on an exam, a lost dog or a pimple the size of Montana.  No, I have discovered that the universe likes to reward my joyous nature with little things like, oh let’s say a broken hip, a car that dies a horrible death, a tax man scaring the (@*# out of me, an exploding water heater, and an offer to participate in the teacher relocation program.  Oh sure, most of these have been blessings in disguise, but that’s beside the point.  (And yes, there are many more disasters packed into this life, but you get the picture.)

You know that I’ve always lived my life rolling with the punches; finding ways to smile and laugh as one *&@$-storm after another lands on my doorstep.

But I’m tired.

And on days when I’m tired I think of my mother.  Today I thought of the poem that she had framed and hung in the guest bathroom of every home we ever lived in.  It was typed amateurishly on what must have been white typing paper that had faded to a creamy yellow over the years.  The thin frame (from the Goodwill, I’m sure) was originally painted white.  It had cracked over the years, and she had added thin strips of wallpaper from one of our old bathrooms around the edges to add a bit of pizzazz.  It always held a place of prominence in bathroom, and I read it each and every time I sat down.

Just For Today

Just For Today I will live one day only, forgetting yesterday and tomorrow, and not trying to solve the whole problem of life at once.

Just For Today I will be unafraid of life and death; unafraid to enjoy the beautiful and be happy. People are as happy as they make up their minds to be.

Just For Today I will adjust myself to what is, and try not to make everything over to suit me. If I cannot have what I like, I will try to like what I have.

Just For Today I will be agreeable, cheerful, charitable, do my best, praise people for what they do, not criticize them for what they cannot do; and if I find fault, I will forgive it and forget it. I will try not to improve or regulate anybody except for myself.

Just For Today I will have a plan. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have one. It will save me from worry, hurry and indecision.

Just For Today I will get off my nerves and not get on theirs. I will appreciate them for what they do and what they are.

Just For Today I will not show it if my feelings are hurt.

Just For Today I will find a little time for quiet, to relax and to realize what life is and can be, and get a better perspective of myself.

Just For Today I will look at life with fresh eyes and discover the wonder of it; I will knw that as I give to the world so the world will give to me.

And while these words remind me of an incredible mother, I hope that I don’t get the opportunity to meet up with her anytime soon. 

Cause this journey is just beginning to get interesting.


Brian Miller said...

hugs VM

you are a survivor.

and even when we roll with them those punches hurt, even glancing blows...we cant pretend they don't...and we cant laugh them all off either...

breath deep. allow yourself to be.
enjoy the good in your life...and let someone carry your load a bit too.

you are a survivor.

Scope said...

Remember, things always look darkest just before they go completely black.

Wait, before the dawn. Yeah, that's it.

As a person who has a countdown clock on the side of his blog, I respect your war. Soldier on.

Jenny Hart Boren said...

My favorite line from "Young Frankenstein": 'Could be worse--could be raining.' Seems like in your case, it's usually ALSO raining. Hang on, honey. It can only get better. It WILL.

You know--when my load seems too heavy, I think about my mom,too. She had things so hard and never once gave up. If she could carry on, then I guess I can, too.

Anonymous said...

Just remember life only has to be lived one day at time. One of my favorite quotes " Sometimes courage does not roar, but rather it is that quiet voice inside that states I will try again tomorrow. I sense that you are tired my old friend. So rest and if it gets too bad, just throw a cafeteria tray out of a window for old times sake. LOVE to you!!!!

Mandy_Fish said...

"Cause this journey is just beginning to get interesting."


Marissa said...

No voting yourself off of the island...just keep building that shelter and wear some sunscreen when you race the sun.

Go buy yourself a Powerball ticket--sometimes karma needs to be dragged by the hand and shown what she needs to do to help us.

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

Dear Tired VM, You are doing such hard things and you continue to inspire as you do them. I love the poem your mom treasured. xo, Anna

Sue said...

I so love your Mama's poem. Life is never easy and some days we just have to tighten that strap on our hard hats to make it through the day. But in the end, we always make it, we always survive one way or another!

Take care my friend,

Anonymous said...

Ok pity party over, put your big girl panties on and your boots - cause you've got to wade through all the sh*t. Love ya

Vodka Mom said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks! I needed that. Kicking my own @$$ day, and smiling through it. Life IS damn good.

Marissa said...

I agree with Anonymous, minus the big girl panties....instead, put the sexy panties on--that way, no matter what else you are wearing on the outside, you have an extra boost of confidence from wearing something cute and/or flirty.
(theory from a friend of mine)

Gigi said...

I'm totally stealing your mom's beloved poem and posting it at my desk so I can see it every day.

Sending you many, many hugs - and, hopefully, boxtops soon.

Krystal said...

Life is hard, life is stressful, life is by no means easy. I can share that with you 100% but there are good days and there are bad days. Yesterday was a bad day for me. Today is a bit better. We'll see what tomorrow holds - there is still too much time left in today to worry about that.

Buck up smile and ((HUGS))

viridian said...

I just saw a quote (somewhere on the internet) from Winston Churchill: "If you're going through hell, keep on going."
It's good to see your poem again too - I have seen it before (where???)