I’m in a group for Gen Xers and someone posed this question: describe your life right now in three words. There were lots of complaints, particularly about how the chaos of this year is treating them, and several that were focused on alcohol and drugs. My answer was “happy despite everything” and it’s the truth.
Somehow I’m managing to appreciate the good things about my life, even in spite of the very alarming political state of the country right now and that my husband is going through chemo. This weekend is a chemo weekend for him and it’s a particularly tough round, so I almost feel guilty for feeling like my life is good overall while he’s suffering so much.
But maybe it’s that I’ve learned to find peace and even happiness in the midst of uncertainty. This year has brought several good changes, such as my husband’s job and me getting another client who doubled my writing income, but it’s also had a hell of a lot of challenges. There’s been the appalling shit show of this presidency, Covid, the effects of climate change as seen in increased natural disasters, record unemployment (including my kids), and the granddaddy of them all, my husband’s cancer.
There’s no question that the cancer is hard enough on me—which pales in comparison to how hard it is on him. But I try my hardest to keep an optimistic attitude, which is pretty easy on the non-chemo weeks. The chemo weeks are of course much harder, again much more so for him than for me. But I am learning to just go with the flow. This is the new norm, for now at least.
I’m also going through perimenopause, which is full of suckiness. But as with everything else, I’ve adopted this attitude that things are what they are and I have little power to change the things that make me feel unhappy. So instead, I make the conscious choice to be happy. I still have moments when I complain, sure—especially compared to my husband’s stoicism, I must seem like a huge complainer in comparison.
Yet overall, I can truthfully say that I’m happy despite everything. It’s not about pretending that the bad stuff doesn’t exist or being fake about things. Instead, it’s more about finding peace that transcends circumstances.