I have never been good at counting my blessings; I’m far too negative for that. Those chipper, upbeat people on my Facebook feed (how did I even get these friends?) are constantly posting positive, life-affirming sayings, and it takes a great deal of will power on my part to not refute each and every one as oversimplifying, sugar coating or self-aggrandizing the true nature of our existence. Luckily I was taught not to say anything if I have nothing nice to say and so I remain, to most people, very quiet.
However, I sometimes feel the need to take a life inventory of sorts, just to remind myself how none of this makes any sense, but here I am and no matter what, it could always be worse.
Here then, in my most positively pessimistic perspective, is my list of miseries and how it could be worse:
1.) I make music that absolutely no one wants to hear. It’s my passion, my heart and soul, but apparently my heart and soul is lacking, boring, potentially dated and out of tune (do not tell me it’s because I’m a downer , not while The Cure and Morrissey are still touring).
It could be worse. I could be loaded with talent and still just as obscure and nowhere, like many of my truly gifted friends.
2.) My house is an absolute pig-sty having just spent the last week and a half enjoying a visit from a friend and her children and making little effort to contain the chaos.
It could be worse. I could have high expectations of my housekeeping abilities and spend the next week stressed out while working towards a presentable home. Instead I will take this opportunity to continue to enjoy the summer and host many more social engagements, knowing I won’t have to clean up much afterwards to maintain status quo. All the while I will not worry that my friends are secretly judging my messy home and deciding my best efforts are not good enough; I made no effort. Perfect!
There is the added bonus of boosting my friends’ confidence in their own housekeeping standards. Once they leave my place they will have a bright new perspective on how nice their homes truly are. I am a good friend!
3.) I’m turning 46 in a few weeks. How did that even happen? I was 27 just a minute ago and now here I am starting the 4 year countdown to 50. What have I even done with my life? Do I really need to go any further with the physical aging process? Because I know how it ends and I don’t like it. And . . .and . . .reading glasses!
It could be worse. I could still be living with the youthful optimism that it will all work out without any effort on my part. That was a big lesson I learned only in the past 6 or 7 years: if there is such a thing as fate, you have to get her number and harass her regularly to get her to work for you. Or you can just do the work yourself (easier).
Also gone is the underlying anxiety of where my life might take me because I finally know: it’s taken me right here, a messy home with a couple of kids who, I hope, are enjoying summer break with their mom, a woman who isn’t stressing over things that don’t matter that much.
Without being too optimistic, I’d like to say I am okay with where I am right now (although being at Comic Con this weekend would be good too). There’s still some road ahead with potential twists and turns, but I think I’m better at navigating it than I was in my youth. Or not.