“I’ve got good news and bad news….” #5 Good times don’t last and neither do bad times

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#5 Good times don’t last and neither do bad times… 49 Life Lessons it took me 50 years to learn

Despite what this Life Lesson implies, it is not about the good times or the bad times.  What I know 100% for certain is that, until the day comes when they are shoveling sand on my face, I am going to experience both.  Life is like that.  It is made up of a series of moments, days, weeks, months and years and in each of these time frames we are likely to have good times and bad times.

But here’s what I used to do.  I used to miss a lot of the good times because I was busy worrying about the bad times.  In fact I often found myself worrying about things that had not even happened (and quite often, did not happen).

Here’s some examples:

I worried that …

I’m a bad Mum.

I might go broke.

I would fail in business.

I might make the wrong decisions (a lot!).

I would grow old… alone.

I didn’t know what my purpose in life was.

And in between all of those worries was where my mind sat for most of my days.  So much so that even though my life was filled with good times too, I was completely missing them.  Well what I mean is, I was there, but my mind wasn’t.  I wasn’t present to them.  I missed the moment to be happy because I was worried about the stuff that might go wrong.

In fact even when things were going good (and there were loads of good days), I would tell myself to make the most of it while it lasted.  I was determined to be right that the bad days were coming…

So essentially my thoughts were always worried about the bad times that might happen or the good times that weren’t going to last?!?

And the truth is that life will throw us both.  Some are in our control and some are not. And by some, I mean the good days and the bad days.  We will get both.  And neither will last.

Life is full of unknowns.  We don’t know what tomorrow will bring.  We don’t know if something amazing will happen or if the rug will be pulled out from under us.  This could be a beautiful sunrise or floodwater.  This could be my best ‘Mum moment’ or my worst.  This could be landing my dream job or being made redundant.  This could be meeting my soul mate or a broken heart.  This could be a brilliant decision or poor judgement.  This could be welcoming a new life or fare welling one.

A couple of years ago I came upon this story about a farmer and his horse and it really caused a light bulb to pop on in my head!

A farmer had only one horse. One day, his horse ran away.

His neighbors said, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

A few days later, his horse came back with twenty wild horses following. The man and his son corralled all 21 horses.

His neighbors said, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

One of the wild horses kicked the man’s only son, breaking both his legs.

His neighbors said, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

The country went to war, and every able-bodied young man was drafted to fight. The war was terrible and killed every young man, but the farmer’s son was spared, since his broken legs prevented him from being drafted.

His neighbors said, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

You see just like the farmer in this story, a good day is only a good day by our own definition.  And so is a bad day.

When the farmer said ‘we’ll see’ what I felt was that he was not attached to an outcome, unlike myself years ago.  What I have come to understand is that in that ‘we’ll see’ moment, is a space. How we fill that space, is up to us. For me, by focusing on what’s so right in my life on the good days and the bad days, allows me to fill my space with peace, calm and happiness.  And at the end of any day, that is all I can control. Just like the farmer.

Jen x

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