the sound of one shoe dropping

I was taking a shower the other day and thinking about how great things are in my life and how blessed I am, when I got that superstitious feeling, “Things can’t really continue to be this good, can they? When is the other shoe going to drop?”

Hold on. Wait a second. What about breast cancer, a bilateral mastectomy, and chemo? That is Imelda Marcos’s closet of shoes. How am I feeling so blessed and lucky at the same time I am shampooing my bald head?

My therapist thinks I tend to minimize the bad things in my life and he hopes I am not just ignoring them or not allowing myself to feel bad. But, of course, I can feel bad. Sometimes, when I am in the shower, I cry instead of smile. (The shower faucet is, apparently, my emotional release valve.) And, not too long ago, I went through what might have been mild depression for almost year as I dealt with estrangment from my biological family. I remember hanging up holiday decorations and starting to cry so hard that I almost fell off the ladder.

That was a bad year for me but I got through it. Eventually I started to notice the sun shining down on me and the birds singing their whippoorwill tune. Then I began not just to notice the bounty and beauty of the universe, but to revel in it, and I recognized that I had turned a corner and I was back to my “disposed to be happy” self. In fact I was better, because I was taking better care of myself. Then I wondered when the other shoe was going to drop.

But haven’t I had enough footwear dropping on my head my whole life, what with my Dickensian childhood, my failed relationships, the career and financial difficulties, and then cancer? Alas, no. I don’t buy that. Life has both a right foot and a left and that shoe of unhappy surprises, disappointments and despair is going to keep hitting the floor. That is just life.

But maybe I can stop listening for that other shoe, worrying about it, apphrensively. Because I have had a lot of adversity in my life. And I am still here. I think I can have confidence that I will get through it, whatever life throws at me. I’ll pick up that shoe and run with it.

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About Annamelle

I split my time between homeschooling and writing a novel. I'm interested in and inspired by fairy tales, Jung, Buddhism, myths, architecture, nature, etiquette, hidden histories, dreams, Emerson, old books, Gaiman, and legends. "Make the most of yourself....for that is all there is of you." — Emerson

Posted on June 8, 2011, in health, inspiration, mind hacks, the third act. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. If you hear what sounds like another shoe dropping, just assume it’s me sneaking up on you with one bad foot. And when I catch you I’m going to hug you and squeeze you and love you and call you George.

  2. Yep, the ‘other shoe will drop’ is a big one. I think the other shoe is the economy right now OR it might be my liver. Either way, I’m taking things moment by moment and hoping that whoever has the other shoe has a smaller foot than mine.

  3. I love that picking it up and running with it. That’s what the fear is, right? Not that something bad will happen, but that something bad will happen and I won’t be able to handle it. I think life teaches us to listen for that other shoe, cuz it is dropping somewhere, in someone’s life, all the time. Maybe we think that if we are listening for it we will be ready. But maybe it’s more that if we take care of our business right now, we’ll be ready anyway, whether we are listening for it or not?

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