Today, I was scrolling through Twitter and came across this bit of genius from Lisa (a wise soul who knows from this kind of shit): Resilience can be built.
Gotta tell you, it resonated.
I've got about 8000 things going on that are stressing me the fuck out. The other day a friend suggested, on the basis of my latest parenting woes alone, that I should most definitely crowd-source a one way ticket to Tahiti. (I'm sure she means business-class.)
Look, if I were to enumerate my stressors, one by one, no doubt some of you would relate to me completely. Some of you, I imagine, would be horrified by the goings-on and feel sorry for me. And just as many others would look at that list and say: So? That's stupid stress. Honey, you've got it good.
One of the stranger legacies of my upbringing - and one against which I struggle against at times like these - is the ingrained fallacy of rightful good fortune. My parents, first-generation Americans, came of age in the era of the American Dream. Sure, they were saturated in the lesson that hard work would ensure success but they took it a few steps farther. To my family, good luck is a birthright. And truly, for many, many years, that claim seemed irrefutable.
Of course, if you look at things too carefully, there are micro-cracks in the veneer but, back in the day, there was always money for revarnishing. Alas, over the course of time, reality has occasionally leveled the playing-field. You know: cancer, deep grief, economic downturn.
But back to resilience. It can be built, which is another way of saying it is learned.
Every winter, Canadians relive this at a meta-level. Every year, at this time, we are confounded by the utter insanity of being alive in a place that is only artificially so. And while there are some who experience this lesson more viscerally than others, we are all in the same box. Our bodies learn how to adapt to temperatures which, two months earlier, would have been beyond our human ability to process, much less to endure.
Our bodies miraculously adjust; our minds, however, struggle on. To lose hope, in this environment, is a given. We cannot remember the charms of spring, and why? So that we can find resilience in the moment - in hardship.
When you are dragged under by the deepest ravages of winter (metaphoric or otherwise), find the stockpiles in your root cellar. Feel your adaptability. Because unlike good fortune (a fickle fairy who comes and goes on a gentle breeze), your resilience is your birthright. Own it and it will be your eternal good fortune. Or so I'm led to believe.