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Sunday, April 27, 2014

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

Lance Shields, Flickr

If an alien was about to land on this planet and asked you whether life on Earth is good or bad, what would you reply?

You might have a good life, or you might have a difficult one. If you're like most people, you might have gone through periods of both.

If you have a difficult life, you might still have a positive outlook and find reasons to smile and even laugh every day.

If you have an easier life, you might feel sad or guilty that not all human beings were born as lucky.

In either case, you probably have moments of elation in alternance with moments when you feel completely overwhelmed.

Take my most recent translation assignment, a long, complicated, highly technical, somewhat stressful, sometimes interesting but mostly tedious one that involved 4 full days of scratching my head and digging into the most specialized of dictionaries to make sense of the electrical engineering gibberish.

The topic was a challenge (as I usually stick to translations in the field of health), but I was up for it. However, a series of obstacles made it all the more difficult!

On the first day, my main computer kept crashing.

On the second day, after uploading the translation software on my second computer, I lost my Internet connection (which I need to use my online specialized dictionaries and to upload my work onto the main server).

On the third day, I woke up with a terrible migraine (probably from all the computer induced stress).

On the fourth day, I just threw everything out the window and started crying...

... NOT! Instead I took a few deep breaths and kept going.

If I was to answer that alien's question about life on Earth, I would simply make a list of things that make the fabric of a «normal» life (based on my past few days or so):

  • A wonderful and useful tool that unfortunately cannot be trusted to be reliable (aka my computer)

  • A job that allows me to work from my couch, in my PJs

  • A naughty cat scratching said couch

  • My oldest scoring for her basketball team

R, 2014

  • A debilitating headache that even the strongest meds can't keep under control

  • My youngest also scoring for her basketball team

  • A mischievous dog that won't calm down

  • A cat sleeping in the sun, very peaceful (scratching is over, it seems)

  • A saucy preteen playing with everybody's nerves

  • A sinfully good chocolate cake for my youngest's eight birthday

  • A whiny 8 year old also playing on everybody's nerves (turning 8 doesn't solve everything, apparently...)

  • A pleasant visit from relatives who live far away

  • A bad cut on the finger while prepping vegetables (still tender a few days later)

  • A great night's sleep

  • Snow and strong winds on April 24 (You read that right! SNOW!)

  • A bottle of delectable Chinon rosé, dry, mineral, citrusy (my attempt at convincing Mother Nature that it's time for Spring!)

  • Noticing that I forgot to water one of my favorite plants and that it might be dead

  • My youngest playing Minuet in G major by Bach on the piano

  • An injured knee that makes running almost impossible

  • A fruitful phone conversation with a like-minded person

  • Existential thoughts that leave me slightly depressed

  • Existential thoughts that leave me slightly euphoric

  • Favorite sneakers now good for the trash

  • Wonderful things that take place in the world

  • Horrible things that take place in the world

  • Great friends spontaneously offering to take my kids, which allows me to work peacefully...

  • ...if it wasn't for the computer crashing!

  • A nice hug from both my little monsters

  • All the while D is running all kinds of errands and doing all kinds of chores that I won't have to worry about

  • And the meds finally working their magic...

  • ... reminding me that not much is life «tastes» as good as the absence of a migraine!!!

In retrospect, my problems seem rather small.

  • So, what do you think? Is life good or bad?
  • Any examples?


  1. I'm with you - perspective makes everything seem better and I always come realize how great my life really is.

    1. If only we remembered that all the time... :-)

  2. As the kids today say; these are first world problems. As Bum Phillips (use the Google) once said; If you're gonna go to the prom, you bestbe prepared to dance with them who brung ya.

    We can talk about the knobby kneed Ethiopian child who clings to his mother's dry tit, while a fly dances upon his eye extracting the last bit of moisture from it, and THEN we can talk about our problems.

    I have a brother with 4 college degrees, and a pedigree in the legal field which is very tasty. He is currently in a post divorce life transition, and sees himself as unemployable, and destined to be cared for by the state when he is old. Any alien worth his giant eyes and boney fingers would slap my brother into next year, and let him know he should be grateful for all he has.

    Anyway, sorry for the rant. If you're sitting in front of a computer right now, chatting with people globally, AND your kids and husband are healthy, Darlin' YOU are in 1st place in the game of life!

    1. I am extremely aware of my luck, and so should most of us be!

      Which doesn't mean that we should deny our personal struggles, because we all have some... and they can be painful.

      A lot of us with first world problems feel miserable. We ought to find the reason why.

      Let's never forget to keep our problems in perspective, and let's make sure to be grateful every day. That can't hurt. :-)

  3. I blindly believe life is always good..yes there are difficult situations you learn to handle those situations...sometimes they make you cry but life is still good :). I feel if I ever stop believing life is good I would not be able to handle life

    1. There is more truth to this second part of your comment than most of us would acknowledge... If we stop seeing the good side of life, we are doomed!

  4. For some reason the song from The Monkey's I think it was came to mind ! A Little Bit Me and a Little Bit You.....don't ask me why it just did.

    Life sometimes can be like a helter skelter, and when it's whirring round and round going down and down ...I then do my best to think of positive things ...it usually helps.

    All the best Jan

    1. Most of the time things do get better... eventually! :-)

  5. HaHa!! That's quite a list! I would hope that any alien that could travel here would find our lives terrible, and would be kind enough to help us out, starting with a cure for migraines!

  6. Life is a mixed bag...some good, some great, and some downright scary! I believe it's what you make of it, and I will qualify that statement by saying that none of us is perfect all the time. Sometimes I don't handle things so well, and other times I surprise myself. Nevertheless, I am grateful for this life, and I accept my human goodness as well as my human failings. The main thing is to keep on trying, and remember that giving kindness to others and accepting kindness from others is a very important part of life. I wouldn't miss it (life) for the world!