Life is Hard

Deny it, complain about it, wish it weren’t so, but the fact is, sometimes life is hard. Even the Buddha told us “life is suffering.” OK, so maybe he wasn’t exactly referring to the hopeless feeling you get being stuck in a dead-end job, or the nausea that rolls over you the moment you realize your partner isn’t who you thought they were, but the wise prince had a point- Life. Is. Hard.

And for all the super useful courses they offer us in high school like trigonometry (What IS the exact angle I have to shoot these dirty socks at to ricochet off my dresser and into the laundry hamper?) or Latin (So next time I’m at the Olive Garden I can order a Caesar salad in Caesar’s own tongue?) no one actually teaches us how to cope with the harshness of adult life. No one prepares us for the unpredictability, how sometimes dreams get crushed and losses pile up over losses.

“You’re so naïve!” “How can you always say things are fine? They’re not fine!” My friend fires her frustration at me. It’s not the first time I’ve heard this “critique.” It’s not that I don’t have my own struggles or that I see others’ with rose-colored glasses. I get that sometimes life throws things at us that make no sense. I know that sometimes these curve balls can fairly knock us off our feet.

The Unexpected will Happen

The unexpected will happen and other people sometimes make decisions that impact us in painful ways. I admit, for a control freak like me, this realization can be a rude awakening, but I take comfort in knowing I can always choose how I react. The perspective I take to the obstacles I face is mine and mine alone. And the perspective I choose is one of determination. Determination to not let those hard moments finish me but to face them with faith in the positivity of the world and more importantly, a wicked sense of humor. Laughter might not cure what ails you but it sure can go a long way to helping you get through those rough moments. A well-timed joke can give you that minute of distraction you need, just long enough to catch your breath and carry on.

And so, on our family camping trip this past weekend, as I watched the clouds roll in, threatening to cut our stay short and flood our tents down the side of the mountain. And as these same clouds suddenly opened and dropped the most random of giant hailstorms on us unsuspecting bathers by the pool, I thought not of how I would spend the next two days washing and air drying our sleeping bags, nor of how we would be stuck eating cornflakes for supper as we could no longer start a cooking fire. I thought only of the ridiculousness of the situation, and the joy to be found in the humor of the moment as I shouted to my fellow campers, “Anyone know when the locusts are coming?”

About the author: Maia Aziz P.S.W., C.L.Y.L. writes and speaks on living a life of love and laughter. President-Elect of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH), Maia hosts a weekly talk radio show Morning Moments With Maia…Conversations of Love and Laughter, Sundays at 9am EST on blogtalkradio where she speaks with an eclectic lineup of guests who live their lives with positive intention.


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