When life throws you curveballs...you learn to hit curveballs
Life is funny. There are traumas you expect to have to live with at some point or another. The end of a relationship. The death of a grandparent or beloved family pet. A parents’ divorce. A shattering of worlds. It’s all there in the offing for us, as humans.
There are the others you don't expect.
Maybe your best friend and role model bled to death on a hospital operating table just as you were finding your foothold in the world. Maybe you lost a sibling to cancer. Maybe you live in a dark place where you wonder if it’s going to be your turn one of these days. Betrayal. Abandonment.
Maybe all of these things are true. Just maybe.
Top it off with the dearth of human connection that provide our lifeblood and oxygen when our brains start to suffocate from the contemporary stresses of parenting, entrepreneurship, finances, and employment.
Drop in a healthy substitution of drinking and unhealthy eating as emotional salves for the lack of human connection and you can understand why so many people are struggling to find the energy to do everything they need to do in a day.
Remove the dash of joy some of us get from watching our kids participate in team sports with their peers and the thrill of watching red-faced kids bask in the joy of a competitive situation where they gave their all – win or lose – and add to it the notion that travel, which also helps fill our emotional cup with fun memories is all but verboten for the foreseeable future.
For many parents, this absence, filled often by requests for more unhealthy screen time, means we have to animate activities for our kids.
Which can be absolutely awesome!
But it means taking time away from work, relationships, our own relaxation self-care time and downtime. Throw into that mix any kind of serious health issue, and brother, life can really beat you down. And it would be understandable. We’re only human, after all, despite what some of us have come to think about ourselves.
It’s hard, man. This life of ours is hard.
But there is magic left in the world. As I type this – I can’t say where, that would ruin the surprise – the sun is beaming through the window. The warmth, the light, and (note the Oxford comma), the simple joy released by the sun can make all that shit drift off, if only for a few minutes.
Which can be the respite you need.
The heartache, the stress, the hurt, the isolation of being separated from our friends and loved ones – it takes a toll, but that toll is not insurmountable. A blog entry I composed early last summer embraced the philosophy of climbing only the mountain that’s in front of you, but sometimes it feels like you just don’t have the energy to take another step. This is true.
But you can. I can. We all can. Training has taught me that.
Sometimes, though, despite the trauma, we can move forward. Despite all of our what-ifs, the hurt, the pain, the secret-wondering-if-we-are-good-enough. The tossing and turning. The sleepless nights. The questioning our self-worth because suddenly – and again, dammit! We are once more trapped in our homes under curfew like it’s martial law or something.
But, love, man. It’s the thing. From that fertile ground, joy can grow. If you allow yourself to love and be loved, without forethought, judgment or consideration, anything is possible. My training business has been based on that concept – that if we treat ourselves with love and care, we will be happier, healthier people. But even that feeling has been in short supply lately.
I imagine many of you are like me, with your brain on overload, and the uncertainty of the next few weeks is causing you an incredible amount of agitation. I’ve found there may be some solace if you can let people into what’s on your mind and what’s in your heart.
Look to love, man.
Hug your dogs. (if you got ‘em. If not, I’ll just be over here judging you silently).
Hold your family.
Find your centre.
Fill your heart.
Feel your feelings.
Love yourself and let others love you.
Words to live by.
Those have helped me deal with all the hell going on in my brain these last six weeks. I’ve learned to lean on family and friends in this really, really hard time—and I urge each of you to do the same, in whatever way works for you. Maybe it’s heartfelt messages or lighthearted teasing, I urge you to connect with those in your lives. I promise they want to share theirs with you. With this being the first Marc Lalonde Experience entry of the new year, I will only wish that almost without fail, that the rest of 2021 treat you better than the first few weeks have treated us all.