No, I did not give you 30 Days of Peace Quotes. No, I did not post my 100 Reasons to Blog for Peace yesterday on the Eve of Blog Blast. No, I haven't done anything in this space that I intended to do in the last 10 months.
My peace was derailed almost from the beginning of 2015. Nothing has come easy. The simplest tasks have been ridiculously complicated. It's been almost comical, but the relief in laughter has been slow in coming.
Blog Blast founder Mimi Lennox has set a theme of Peace and Love for this 2015 launch. My Peace Post is about Challenge, Struggle, and Opportunity. That's been my year. But if you look closely, you'll find Mimi's theme in my year. She does have a knack. Even when I have a thing to relate, even if I think that thing is outside the story Mimi wants from me, somehow she yanks me underneath the umbrella of this movement and my message for Blog Blast becomes exactly what she wants.
Uncanny, that woman is. I haven't been in contact much with Mimi since this blog went dark. Yet her theme trumped my own. I'm ok with that.
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
Martin Luter King Jr.
Details aren't important. Suffice to say that my challenge in 2015, indeed my and Pam's challenge, has been overcoming repeated illness, plus the stuff and nonsense that comes with lousy health. We have both fought one illness after another since January. We lost weight. We became reclusive. We begged off social engagements. We fell behind at work, ran ourselves ragged trying to catch up, then missed more time because we didn't get enough rest and caught the dang bugs again.
Rinse and repeat.
We simply could not string enough time together when one or the other or both of us felt well. We gradually surrendered to the lethargy of not feeling well, which led to a completely overwhelming negativity.
Pam is an innately positive person. She can find a bright side to any situation. I work at being that kind of person, and I've gotten to the point where I usually can find the positive in just about anything, almost without thinking too hard.
2015 knocked us both down, put its boot on our throats, and leaned in for the crush.
"Always remember that striving and struggle precede success, even in the dictionary."
Sarah Ban Breathnach
It is a hard thing when you can't pick your partner up. How do you say something to your partner to cheer them, when your focus is gradually turning inward within your own struggle? We've all done that when we're sick...it's only about us. It's about how lousy we feel. We selfishly hoard our energy because we want it all for our own struggle to feel well.
You know what they tell you on the airplane, right? Those safety demonstrations? In the event of cabin decompression, they tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before you help someone else. Good safety tip...until you're so focused on getting your own oxygen that you don't look around to see if anyone else needs help.
My struggle to feel well. Pam's struggle to feel well. Independent of each other. Frustrated and tired of feeling awful most of the time.
Except...we're not independent of each other, Pam and I. We never have been, since that moment in 2006 when our lives met and intertwined.
"Empathy is the most mysterious transaction that the human soul can have, and it's accessible to all of us, but we have to give ourselves the opportunity to identify, to plunge ourselves in a story where we see the world from the bottom up or through another's eyes or heart."
Sue Monk Kidd
One night not too long ago, neither of us could open a jar. No matter how we tried, we simply could not get the thing open. Stoopid pickles.
And we started laughing.
It was a moment of extreme silliness. A moment of high hilarity. A moment of such sublime ridiculousness. A complete tension release. A reminder that even during those times when we were each mired in our own selfish hoarding of energy to be well, we were together.
She and I. Us. We.
With love. In love. Loving.
The individual challenge. The singular struggle. The shared opportunity.
Dona Nobis Pacem.
Image credit: I found the image I used on my Peace Globe at a site called All About Art. The artist's name is Anna Razumouskaya.