|“Have you ever gotten the feeling that you aren’t completely embarrassed yet, but you glimpse tomorrow’s embarrassment?” (Tom Cruise)
I remember Tom’s couch jumping and the criticism he endured because of it. I just never imagined I’d feel like he had to have felt at some point in my life–publicly humiliated. And then my unexpected life hit.
Not only was I shocked at what was revealed, not only was I scrambling to preserve what I could from the ashes of destruction and create some semblance of a life for me and my children to carry on with, but I was absolutely mortified. I was appalled at the dishonesty and CRIMES that had been perpetrated; I was embarrassed to not only know a criminal but to be married to him; and I was humiliated at having to endure everything so publicly, played out on a national stage.
It was a struggle to reconcile that all of those events were my life.
I couldn’t help but recall the little girl I once was–the little girl who who loved her dolls and looked forward to the day they would become “real” and I would experience motherhood; the little girl who immersed herself in fairy tales for hours on end and had such dreams of a real one in the future for her and everyone else.
I certainly never envisioned the story I got handed. It wasn’t my plan. My plan was for me, and everyone else, to grow up and live happily ever after.
The bottom line? I didn’t want the life that became mine unexpectedly.
And then I thought of my childhood friends: friends with addictions that destroyed their families and their lives; friends who watched their toddlers suffer and eventually die from physical impairments; friends whose parents committed suicide, died of cancer, or were killed in accidents; friends who divorced; friends who never married; friends who wanted children but couldn’t have them; friends betrayed by spouses; friends who died of cancer; friends diagnosed with M.S. and other diseases they live with and endure the effects of on a daily basis; friends who battle health issues and pain all day every day; friends who struggle with employment; friends who lost their homes; friends who suffered financial reverses; the list is endless.
The challenges varied, but almost every childhood friend I knew had been blessed with an unexpected life.
I couldn’t help but wonder what we would all have thought, as children, if we’d been given a glimpse of what was to come. Honestly? I wondered if I would have run at the thought of 2009. I guess it’s a blessing that certain things are unexpected. And that’s when I remembered, not for the first time, a key to living and enduring life and it’s challenges. You have to expect that unexpected things happen. In every life. To every one. So you have to carry on. Every day.
“Not a day passes over the earth, but men and women of no note do great deeds, speak great words and suffer noble sorrows.” (Charles Reade)
Shocking, devastating, heart breaking, hard, unexpected, even embarrassing things. Expected, exhilarating, happy, joyous and wonderful things. But always unexpected. Sometimes they lead to an uncontrollable desire to jump on a couch. Other times, it’s all you can do to get up off the couch and drag yourself forward to face the day.
But the important thing is that you live it and never lose your glimpse of the possibilities contained in tomorrow…if you can just make it through today.
A helpful tip to getting through the day? Don’t forget to utilize your couch if you need to. Regroup on the couch. Then get up off the couch, jump on your couch, sit close to someone you love on your couch (where is Agent M when you need him?), or rearrange your couch. Couches can be helpful in the unexpected life.
“I got up one morning and couldn’t find my socks, so I called Information. She said, “Hello, Information.” I said, “I can’t find my socks.” She said, “They’re behind the couch. And they were!” (Stephen Wright)