We all know life is not fair, right? Didn't we learn that ages ago, when our ice cream rolled off the cone with one lick, rolled down our forearms and landed on the dirty sidewalk? And didn't we cry because we only got an ice cream cone once every summer, like only once, and Mommy only had enough money for two ice cream cones, one for us and one for our sister and didn't even get one for herself? And we're not coming into town again until next week?
Lesson #1 is that life is not fair.
Oh but it's a hard lesson and one that needs to be learned over and over and over.
Lesson #2 is PATIENCE.
The next thing we learn is that unfairness and patience don't like to get along.
All summer I worked on Patience. I prayed for it. I reminded myself to wait for it. I have been doing a lot of PATIENT WAITING and let me tell you, it does not get any easier. How unfair is that?
It's unfair that I don't live in the country, that my husband would love to live in the country with me, but that his work is in the city. It's unfair that so many clients believe that their recording project is the only one he's worked on this week. It's unfair that we pay taxes and yet the schools always have their hands out for money. It's unfair that record labels don't pay up quickly. Unfair that literary agents have so much crap to read that they don't have time to read my crap, and that they have to send form letters to let me know that they are simply not suitable for my project at this time. It's unfair that my two horses are both seven years old and not fully trained yet, and that I never have enough time to spend with them.
Unfair that my kids are 14 and 12 and do not have five acres of room to run around in, when their time at Grandma's farm is spent mostly outside... in the tree, on a horse, on a 4wheeler, under the big sky.
It's unfair that so many books that I consider crappy are published every year and I am still sifting through lists of agents, counting on one of them seeing the value in mine, and wanting it to be a real book. A good book.
It's unfair that a gorgeous little farm, far away from the yellow smog of Toronto, has a bright red and blue FOR SALE lurking near the mail box at the end of the lane, and that two other people who aren't me have tentative offers to buy that farm.
It's terribly and sadly unfair that almost four years ago, I had a serious mental and emotional breakdown that basically put life into slow motion for over a year. It's unfair that I didn't realize, nor did my loved ones, how serious it was... and that it took me almost two months to go get help for it. It's unfair that because of my messed up state, our household suffered, with bills going unpaid and chores undone and food going bad in the fridge.
Like, I could just weep, right?
Yeah, but I'm medicated and I haven't really cried since I started taking them big honkin red pills.
Also I'm realizing that my paternal Grandfather's stubbornness is a hereditary blessing. I am stubborn. As soon as I'm done my temper tantrum pity party, I have to set my jaw and keep slogging my way through.
So I go through it backwards. Take a deep breath, start at the end.
Yeah, it's unfair that I had untreated mental/emotional problems for so many years. But in a way, that breakdown may have saved my life. Now I know. I recognize it, I know when to call for help. I know I'm not alone.
It's not right at all that I'm still living in town. BUT I have friends here to cheer me up. I still have my horses, even if I don't see them enough. I know that they are cherished and well cared for. My kids haven't grown up in the country, but they've known the joys and hardships of country life from all of our long holidays at the farm, as well as the fun of having friends drop by our home in town. They know the best and worst of both worlds.
I am blessed with a unwavering faith that I will be back in the country again. Soon. Not in another decade. I have a husband who is ready for this. I have an odd confidence that I will get what I want.
I have the knowledge that the publishing world often moves at a snail's pace and that's it's not necessarily my fault that my book isn't a book yet. Sure it's unfair, and I'm not the only one who feels that way. I'm blessed to have the belief that I'm a pretty decent writer. I marvel at this new confidence... this steady faith that it will happen for me. It didn't used to be there and I welcome it.
Life isn't fair, kids. We don't always get what we want, and don't always want what we get! The world hasn't run out of ice cream cones yet.
Today I have to take a deep breath and put myself back on the path. Temper tantrums and pity parties are such a waste of energy, and I'm going to need all the strength I can get.