At my lowest in 2016 I believed that God himself was punishing me for 40-plus years of ill doings, flawed character and anything else suppressed by my over-active conscience that had been in denial.
For most of the year I thought I had entered a deep pit mine with a one way ticket in hand.
The euphoria of the Christmas holiday season quickly faded as I walked through the front door back to my reality. By the time the Easter holiday arrived I had convinced myself that I would rise like the proverbial Phoenix and even I imagined that Jesus himself would be suitably impressed that I planned on rising from the dead with him on Easter Sunday. It was going to be quite a grand affair.
Well, it didn’t turn out that way – for me anyway (Jesus is still going strong). The period from March through to July was the Dark Ages of my life to date. The rest of the year was equally as trying on my emotions but someone had found me buried alive and kept shining their torch in my face to remind me I would soon be free.
The past weeks were no shiny sparkly time either. I was feeling very sorry for myself and I was my own worst enemy.
2016 was not a good year for me. Was it the worst year ever? No. Could it have been worse? Yes. Do I want this year to be different? Of course.
When I woke up this morning I nearly broke my nose crashing into a wall to avoid the odourless but very generous gift that Sherman my Dacshund had deposited on the rug. As I made my first cup of coffee I reflected on the gift and had a startling revelation.
Sometimes life will deliver a gift of poo to your doorstep. Most times the gifts are standard form and expected size – we know we will receive a gift at some time so we almost don’t notice them. It’s when the gifts are far bigger than we expect that we are taken aback – we don’t know how to respond, reciprocate or behave. If the stench of the gift is overbearing our environment changes immediately and all we know is that we should avoid the stench completely. It gets worse – the gift may have been damaged in transit and the broken shards get stuck in the carpet fibres; this makes removing the gift all that more difficult.
I could have scolded Sherman and left the gift alone but that would obviously have served no good purpose. Sometimes you just need to get rid of the gift.
So, these are my learnings from my experience this morning:
- Sometimes big shit lands right in front of us. It’s not your shit but it is now your problem.
- I could have screamed and screamed at Sherman but that would only have broken him down more than it would ever actually move the poo.
- Alternatively I could have just laughed off the situation but the poo would have remained to annoy me at a later stage.
- We can leave it where we found it but it will only attract flies and other parasites, and it will always remain just how you found it (only in decaying state).
- We can throw the rug away but then we wouldn’t have a rug.
- We can walk around it and pretend we didn’t see it, hope that someone else will pick it up on their way out, and because we know where it is we will simply choose to avoid the area.
- We can convince ourselves to believe that it will disintegrate over time just as it is ejected from the bowels of an aeroplane. This would only be a viable option if shit was selective about the altitude it was thrust upon us.
- We can tell ourselves that their are other priorities and commit to dealing with it later. The problem with this is that we won’t be able to focus on our priorities as long as the gift lingers physically and olfactory.
- We don’t have any other choice but to pick up the shit and dispose of it permanently. Remove it from our surrounds, blast the odour away with our preferred fragrance and then, most importantly, sanitise sanitise sanitise.
The last point is the most important because every other action is rather superficial as residue will remain even though it can’t be seen.
What does this mean for me in 2017? I’ve already cleaned up the poo; to move forward I must now focus on creating a super sanitised passageway so I can access all the rooms in my house without ever having to dwell on the memories of that gift in the hallway. I just need to figure out what products to use.
This year will be better because I have started cleaning up but I need to see the process through in order to be content with what I already have.
The short version interpretation of all of this is that it’s not only our attitude that will decide our path. We also need to put thoughts into action and commit to tasks and activities that help us move forward one day at a time.
Wishing you all the very best for a year filled with gifts that you actually want.