I love when friends invent pithy quotes.
Yesterday, my friend Karen asked if I knew of any quotes along the lines of the above, which has been running through her head recently.
“To me it means when times are good and you’re in your rhythm and conquering the world (or just fairly happy) it’s easy to be philosophical about how to get thru the bad times,” she wrote.
“Telling yourself you can’t control everything is easy when life’s perkin’ along. But when it all gets complicated and shit’s goin’ wrong it’s hard to really ‘count your blessings’ or believe that ‘better times (probably) lie ahead.’”
Oh yeah. It’s true. When stuff’s hittin’ the fan, keeping a level head is really hard, no matter how much you “know” when everything is just swell.
So what then? Are you destined to just spiral down until… what? You bottom out? Your life’s in shambles around you? You take to your bed forever?
When I’m in a place so bad that I forget all the important things I know about living well, I sometimes call my former therapist for a little tune-up. Otherwise, I just spin my wheels until I’m deep in a rut. A good head shrinking helps me regain traction so I can move forward, out of the mire.
But, facile as this sounds, I’ve also found that a good pithy quote can help me hang on when life is sucky. I sometimes cling to aphorisms like a lifeline, repeat them like a mantra.
I guess the trick is grabbing onto pithy quotes that really speak to me. ”Count your blessings” doesn’t work for me. I know that’s sacrilege, but thinking about the good things in my life has never solved anything for me. I can be aware of good things and still be all wadded up about the not-so-good. Good and bad are not mutually exclusive and I’m not easily distracted from life’s dark side. That’s just me.
But some pithy mantras do help me ride out hard times. For example:
This too shall pass.…