“I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden…”
This song keeps slipping through my mind…the few verses that I know. It’s the Lynn Anderson version – the one from the seventies, the one from my childhood. “I beg your pardon,” this voice says to me. I never promised you a life full of roses…or a life of ease…or a life with no pain. I never promised you that life would be simple in any way.
It’s been my anthem the last few weeks. Work is kicking my butt, and when I start to pout about it, this voice whispers in my ear. She says in her best southern drawl, “Hush now, honey. It’s just a thing.”
It’s all just a thing. Things happen nearly every single day. Meetings happen, stress happens, a six-year-old pooping in their pants happens (we made it four weeks before the first accident at school – hopefully that’s our quota for the semester). My issue is dealing with the effects of it all.
“Along with the sunshine, there’s gotta be a little rain sometimes…,” she whispers again. Life is going to get wet and messy and slippery. So what do I do? How do I handle it without it handling me? Because most days I feel like I’ve been man-handled enough to go to bed with a couple of black eyes.
She sings, “When you take, you gotta give, so live and let live. Or let go…” And so I let it go. I breathe. I pray. I focus on things getting better. It’s extremely hard, but really, what choice do any of us have? We move forward or we wither away. I’m not quite ready for the withering yet.
I have to believe there’s a reason for all we struggle through. Whether it be work, family, or the countless things beyond our control, these hardships are here to help us grow. Maybe we only grow if we’re stretched a bit. Maybe we’re pulled and prodded and reshaped to make us better.