For the past five months, I have been reading the Comfort Book by Matt Haig. First- I love this book. Second, he quotes Alan Watts (British philosopher) and I think it’s quite timely…

If…we cannot live happily without an assured future, we are certainly not adapted to living in a finite world, where, despite the best plans, accidents will happen, and where death comes at the end. Alan Watts

Haig summarizes:

If we demand the future be free from suffering in order to be happy, we can’t be happy. It is like demanding the sea be entirely still before we sail on it.

Too many people live in an If Only type of world. If only I had a bigger house, if only I weighed ten pounds less, if only I had a better job… If only the waves would stop…

Here’s the thing: the world keeps spinning…revolving…moving…we can either move along with it and get on with out lives, or we can just sit and wait for it to stop…

What do you think the chances are of things stopping?

Someone said to me the other day that I seem to have handled pandemic well. And at first I laughed, because really…did anyone handle it well?

But then I thought about it…

I was in a horrible place from March 2020 till June 2020 when I hit my personal rock bottom. Then it dawned on me that the pandemic was never going to end…that it wasn’t a pandemic, it was actually an endemic situation.

Once I realized that this, in fact, was the rest of our lives, I was able to get in my sailboat and row. And I never looked back.

Nothing is ever going to be perfect or 100%. We need to learn to deal with that and move forward anyway. If you wait for things to change in order to be happy, you will never be happy. You will never even be content. You will be constantly searching for an elusive state that just does not exist.

Bad things will happen. We can’t stop them from happening. But we can continue on the course we set and just keep sailing. We just need to learn how to handle the tide, and right the boat when it inevitably tips over.

63 thoughts on “Comforting

  1. The word resilient comes to mind. It’s more than just positive thinking. I love hanging around people with that quality (and tend to keep my distance from chronic whiners). Good food for thought today LA. DM

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  2. Moving forward and having the skills to handle what life throws at you is important, and probably what most people want to accomplish. Reality tells me that so, so many of those who want to do this are faced with barriers that probably seem insurmountable. While the issue may seem simple, and we want others to pick themselves up and keep moving people all over the world are facing a true lack of skills plus constant emotional, financial, social and deeply personal reasons to see little reason to hope or maintain that tough resilience that DM mentioned.

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      1. I don’t disagree at all. I do truly believe though that there is so much more to this issue than most people can articulate or process. Being supported is crucial and the tools are crucial but socially the reasons are much deeper.

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  3. This book has a funny backstory. It’s been on my TBR list for a while, but I was at the library last week and something urged me to look for it. They didn’t have it on the shelf, but they did have a book in large print. It was nowhere to be found. But thanks to your blog post, I’m adding it to my holds now. 🙂

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  4. Our church just had a message with this theme titled What is the meaning of life. The point was if the meaning of life is just to “be happy,” then we will never be happy because challenges, disappointments, sickness, crisis etc. will always happen. When we go through life saying Why me, God? we miss the beauty of what He is doing to form and mold our character in the middle of these things. No one ever grew their faith when things were going well. Strong faith is born out of adversity when perspectives become more clear. So many times our definition of love is to help someone live a pain-free life when in reality, helping them navigate pain and suffering in order to become stronger is much more beneficial to them in the long run. 💜

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  5. I remember making the shift from fear of the pandemic to acceptance of a new normal. That is not to deny the realities of current risks, but to move forward in an educated way that opens the doors, once again, to freedom and adventure.

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  6. I was reading this whole thinking it was a different blogger. I was like wow this is so different from her usual posts. 🤣 Love the sentiments. Getting older really helps.

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  7. This is so important. When I was in college I was obsessing about an extra five pounds I wanted to lose. I was putting things off because of that weight. Then I walked across a street and got hit by a pick up truck going 45 miles per hour. A week later in the hospital, while I was struggling to walk and to pee — it occurred to me that I could care less about my weight. And I never have since.

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  8. I read somewhere that happiness is an inside job. That makes so much sense to me because we will never be happy if our joy is dependent on outwardly (is that a word?) things. Happiness flows from the inside out, not the other way around. Great post, I have that book tagged at the library! Hugs, C

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  9. I’m the world’s biggest optimist…so much so that it tends to annoy people. They always ask me for my secret, and I’m never able to give them an answer. But I think THIS is the answer! I always keep rowing.

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      1. I never say this, but get apple for one month and binge. It’s the only show worth doing that fir


  10. I think it is a normal bent for a lot of people to look at life with an “if only” philosophy. The lockdowns et al just heightened that mentality for them and increased depression. I agree that it is much healthier to have a positive outlook because a negative one doesn’t change anything in the circumstances. As a child, I loved the book Pollyanna; she got through bad times by playing the glad game, by looking for a reason to be happy with her circumstances. Maybe it’s time for us all to read or reread Pollyanna. 😉

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  11. I can’t see the point of waiting for the “right time” for anything. NOW is always the right time for what you want and to make it happen – if it is truly important to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love Alan Bennett’s “Keep on keeping on” for if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, it may take you a long time, but you will get there. Despite suffering with depression, I’ve always been a natural optimist, but now I work hard building pragmatism in order to better handle with life’s shite, ‘cos there’s plenty of it.

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