If we focus on the good things we can lessen the impact of the bad. A simple concept and one that I believe has some merit. If we focus on the positive can we stop the negative from happening? Not a chance. There is no avoiding it, into every life a little rain must fall.
The bad stuff that happens to everyone is just a fact of life. No one is free of bad luck. No one is going to go merrily along, never catching a cold at a bad time, never getting injured, never having money problems, relationship problems, work problems. The list goes on and on. Shit does happen. What matters more is how you deal with it.
You could go through life avoiding risk, emotional commitments, confrontations, all in an effort to protect yourself from any bad experiences but chances are things will still crash into you and in the process have an impact on your future.
Ultimately everything we are is a result of our life experiences up to that point. We get food poisoning from shrimp, and then avoid it in the future. We learn from our mistakes but that doesn’t mean we won’t make others. It is all part of our ongoing development. Life is not one giant bowl of perfect cherries, there are some rotten ones mixed in there too. When you get one what matters more than the fact that you’ve discovered the bad ones exist is how you deal with this discovery.
Life can slip off the rails quickly leaving you with the aches and pains that follow but you just have to pick yourself up and carry on.
Two summers ago I was in southern Utah on my motorcycle. It was a beautiful sunny morning and I was traveling with my brother. Coming around one corner I noticed a stunning rock formation and an easy access to it. I pulled off the highway and rode my bike up the dirt trail towards it, then parked and got my camera out to take the photo. Picture taken I climbed back on the bike and headed slowly down the red dirt trail towards the highway. Partway down the red dirt changed into soft red sand and my front tire dug in and I felt myself losing my balance. I was going so slow I wasn’t worried at all about the fall and was probably too casual about it. In that moment that I went down I realized my foot was trapped under the bike and I felt the weight of the bike pressing down on my ankle. I was on my feet again quickly and although my ankle hurt I didn’t think it was broken. I continued to ride for the rest of the day with the throbbing in my boot steadily increasing. By the time we’d stopped for the night I could barely get my boot off, my foot was purple and huge. But no point whining, I’m in Utah with my brother, so I hobbled instead of walked but still made it across the road to the bar for a cold beer and the next day we carried on.
The injury had an impact on the trip but it didn’t become the biggest part of it. I dealt with it and made the most of the journey. Sometimes you have to roll with the punches, knowing its going to be a pain for awhile but soon you will be able to carry on, hopefully a bit wiser for the experience.
The irony of this post is that I started to write on a Monday night and then on Tuesday I was working on my muscleups after the evening Crossfit class and in the process I badly pulled a muscle in my rib cage. There it was right in my face some unplanned crap that was now going to force me to miss working out and be pretty uncomfortable for awhile. But a few days later I was able to do some rowing and the next day do a workout. Life is like that, sometimes you just have the misfortune of stepping into something you wish you could have avoided but you wipe it off, you try not to let it stain anything else in your life and eventually the smell goes away and you keep on walking. You just keep going and try to keep smiling because there is always more in life to be happy about if you look for it.