anxiety, discretion, friendship, inspiration, life lessons, love, mindfulness

Those Damn Curveballs

I’m not even a baseball aficionado and even I know what curveballs are.  They’re the frustrating pitches that start straight and then curve into a ridiculous arc making the likelihood of a hit far lower than if the pitcher had thrown straight.  

My friends have been getting thrown curveballs lately and it’s messing with their batting average and more importantly their spirits.  I have read about people struggling with the darker moments from their past, spoken with those who are feeling concern about emotional u-turns that keep occurring despite smarter GPS systems in their heads, significant losses and little gains that don’t really offset the enormity of sorrow, relapses, physical challenges, regrets…And I can’t fix any of it, because I wasn’t given that extraordinary power (though I fancy Tinkerbell as one of my favorite characters – I just would like her wand though).

I had no intention of writing about this today – I was going to write something about management.  Once again, my heart over-ruled my head – it seems to do that a lot.  Be forewarned, I don’t have any magical answers and I doubt my words can change hurts that run so deep.  I can only be here.  We can only be here for those we love and care about.  I do know that it is important to honor pain as much as one should embrace happiness.  They are flip sides of the same coin and for reasons I can’t explain, sometimes the coin lands on the wrong side.  We lose people we adore and have to recalibrate our balance so that we can still hold them in our heart while railing that we can’t hold them in our arms.  Our bodies refuse to comply with our directions to always stay strong.  Hearts get broken and the energy just isn’t there to find the paste and glue.  Or it’s the wrong kind of Elmer’s and doesn’t work on major organs.  So what to do, how to cope, how to head back to the dug-out after striking out despite your best efforts (that’s it for the analogy, I promise).

Some days the best we can do is breathe.  Just breathe.  Get through the day and notice that there is nothing required of us other than that.  Listen to the wind as it weaves it’s way around the tops of the trees.  Cry.  Cry some more.  Eat a little bit if you can.  And every time you begin to judge what you’re doing, anytime a ‘should’ pops into your brain – invite it to leave.  Now isn’t the time.  There are no ‘shoulds’.  There is just this moment, and this is the moment that you have to get through – no more – until the next moment.  Letting our thoughts go is a hard exercise, wondering is a human condition – and often elicits wonderful thoughts.  No wondering today – for the answers aren’t going to offer solace.  Life is.  That is all for today.

And if you have the energy, as weird as it may sound – do something good for another person.  Nothing huge, a ‘thank you’ will do.  Perhaps “can I help you with that?” as an older person struggles with his/her groceries.  Let someone who appears to be in a hurry take your place in line.  Buy a sandwich for a homeless person.  In the throes of despair the one thing that hints of the promise of a better tomorrow is generating kindness.  It takes us out of ourselves, even briefly.  And the effect of gratitude and appreciation reinforces the goodness of who you are (regardless of what you may be thinking of yourself at the moment).

“When you carry out acts of kindness you get a wonderful feeling inside.  it is as though something inside your body responds and says, yes, this is how I ought to feel” — Harold Kushner

It may seem counterintuitive – we want people to be kind to us when we’re going through our own hell.  Yet this is the only way I have found to make  a positive impact on my own spirit when it’s overwhelmed with struggle.  In college we would call it ‘doing a solid’ – a solid, small act of goodness that brings us back to the reality that what you’re going through does not define you.  It is depleting you perhaps, but doesn’t come close to touching all the goodness that you are.  And in that moment of giving, I guarantee you that you will feel slightly lighter.  For a little while, you will be lighter.  Breathing, kindness and the smallest of smiles.  That is what I wish you for today.  I will save the big, over-the-top exuberant, life affirming wishes for another day – for I know that day too will come.

And in stereo-typical Jewish mother language, there’s something to be said for a little chicken soup too.  Try and have a sip – it’ll help..


66 thoughts on “Those Damn Curveballs”

  1. absolutely brilliant mim you have such a wonderful way with words, i am keeping this one to read again and again, thank you for writing this mim, have a wonderful weekend 🙂 xx

    1. You know that you were one of those for whom this was written dear one…I want your days to be as light as the most glorious day and know that those days are ahead…but for today…I’m here. xox

  2. Mimi: this is one of your blogs I am going to save for that eventual “rainy day” that we all have now and then. Thanks for the gift. Now we both feel a little lighter.

    1. Thank you John…I was trying to deal with my own frustration at not being able to wave a wand and making all of this difficult stuff just go away for those I love and care about. And yet…:-)

  3. Well, this post could certainly stop a pity party in its tracks and I will remember it when I feel one coming on. The answers are always within us, but sometimes we have to give to another in order to see them with clarity. Great post. I’ll keep your friends in a positive light for better things to come.

    1. Nothing against a pity party – though I never invite anyone to join in the no-fun fun. 🙂 It is hard to see through all the murkiness to get to the simple stuff, and sometimes the simple stuff is all that we need to do. I too am keeping all those who are having a tough time right now in a positive light. Thank you! 🙂

  4. There are NO words for the Wonder that is YOU! A more amazing woman I’ve never known. You remember the old Coke commercial…the one about the world? You are coke to the world Mimi…and pepsi can take a hike! I love you woman.

    1. Oh WW I love you too..and I don’t know that I’m worthy of this kind of compliment. I’m just me – and I care a lot – as you do. And that’s why we were drawn to each other. Cause that’s how we roll…That said, I’ll stop by and have a coke and a smile with you any day of the week…xoxo

      1. Don’t doubt the words I say…when it’s in print, it’s LAW. You are one in a million…I’m just glad you are one in MY million

      2. Ha! You are the purveyor of hugs on the page Mim…I’m just learning from you. In a multitude of ways. And no….not kidding!!!

      3. WW, I have never seen the outpouring of love and hugs as I see when I read the comments to your posts. And that’s YOUR talent, YOUR warmth, YOUR gift – that ain’t got nuttin’ to do with me..xox

      4. Aw heck…you need to spend more time readin’ YOUR comments. Ask Andy….they LOVE you. And yes, I know I’m loved too, more and more every day…but your light is so bright Mimi…you don’t realize. But that’s okay, we do.

      1. I know from reading between the lines of you two, that you know EXACTLY what I mean. Thanks Jo, and you are blessed to have this woman as a treasured friend. As I am. Even WITHOUT the history that you two share. 🙂

  5. I am sorry your friends are going through some tough times and you find yourself having a tough time right along with them. You offer good advise and I hope you are taking it.

    I think perhaps you are a little like Tinkerbell – your wand is your blog and the sparkling rainbow magical light that bursts from it, the words you write. I imagine you help more people with your lovely words than you can ever know. Hugs to you and your friends from me.

    1. I hope you’re right..If someone feels a little better, then I think that’s all I can ask for. Would that we could just scoop up our friends (those we have met and those we know in this community of ours) and just assure them with our friendship that better days are ahead. I’m so touched by your beautiful, loving thoughts you got me reaching for the Kleenex my friend…and hugs right back at you!!

  6. Ahhh, Mimi, you’ve done it again sweetie. So, so beautiful and so right. You really are so wise, my friend, and like others have said, this one gets printed out and tucked away for future solace. You know me, I’m always drawing on a quote or a poem that I’ve found helpful, enlightening, soothing, whatever the need. This gorgeous post brought to mind a Kahlil Gibran quote that has always resonated with me:

    “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?

    Love you….

    1. Lori – I LOVE that quote, and it is one of the few I have committed to memory. We really are on some psychic connection here today, aren’t we? Thank you for thinking so highly of this post, but thank you more for your ginormous heart and you, m

  7. Thanks, you don’t know how much I needed a little chicken soup to soothe the emotional aches and pains right now. Took me back to “Schoolhouse Rock” days and it was yummy 🙂

    1. We all have times like this…and each step feels more like a slog than any forward motion per se..I’m hoping things will get better – hmmm, change that – I’m SURE they will! 🙂

  8. There are not words to describe how much I love every one of your blog posts. You have such a big heart full of wisdom. I just eat every post up – just like chicken soup with rice!! 🙂

  9. Brilliantly written. I’m blessed to hear your words, and feel your touch daily. I’ve never known anyone who could deliver a message with the compassion and touch that you consistently do. How lucky can a guy get?

  10. Mimi -I am so happy that a co-worker introduced me to your blog….I keep telling friends at the Firm that the day you left was the day that “human” was taken out of human resources…..I never really met you but you are missed by myself and many in my league.

    What started as an undercurrent of oppression has reached a full blown tidal wave in such a short time. We saw it happening right before our eyes but never thought it would be cultivated. Talk about a damn curveball! It can get overwhelming when I think too long and hard about it.

    So, thank you for your blog today which I have applied not only to the many losses and illnesses swirling around my life but to the loss of a great era of security in which you indirectly provided. I am happy that we are still somehow connected and trust that everything is exactly the way it’s supposed to be.

    Thank you Mimi!


    Sent from my iPad

    1. Hi! I’m so glad you came by to visit – thank you!! I have heard a great deal about what is happening at the firm, and I am saddened to hear it, and incredibly sorry that a culture which we took so much pride in caring for has begun to erode. I’m glad we are still connected too, and though this environment is not what it used to be, sometimes organizations (and people!) have to spiral a bit before achieving balance once again. Although the reality makes me sad (and a little angry because it was a fabulous place to be for a long time), I think it is as it has to be in order to re-emerge even better some day (I write hopefully…:-))…Take care and keep letting me know how you’re doing!

  11. Beautiful. Like many others have commented, I will save this one because the sad truth is, I know those days are coming. I see a new phrase being added to my vocabulary … ‘doing the solid’. Had not heard it expressed that way before and love it. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you for enjoying it…and yup, we all know there are going to be days like this…My hope is that they are few and far between…:-)

  12. Hi Mimi – wow, what a post to come back to, after being totally and completely away for several days – like you last week,with re-entry, it’s my turn, but all is good. I just completely appreciate your post and I can’t tell you the number of times that I have gotten myself out of slump, rut or just “icky” place by turning things on a dime, but I love how you express it. The chicken soup song is precious and I love how it lasted the entire time as I read through all the comments – it was a soundtrack to the whole experience; when I am late to the party it feel like everyone catching me up on what I missed 🙂 You have SUCH a wonderful spirit…xo

    1. I hope you have an awesome time away!! I missed you!! And as long as you come to the party, you can arrive any time you like – the door is open and chances are good you haven’t missed much! 🙂 xox

      1. 🙂 We had a wonderful time away, I am so grateful for the tradition my friend and I have with our boys…I am still reflecting on it. And it is good to be back – funny how this space has really taken on a life of it’s own, a place among friends too. I am just ‘fashionably’ late to the party…and thank you for the open door:) xoxo

    1. You are so kind – thank you! I’ve been on a bit of a break for the last few weeks, but will be back soon. Thank you again..

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