A bookmarked life

May 13th, 2011 § 9 comments

One of the defining features of childhood is innocence.
As children we don’t realize that things change. We think the way that things are when we go to bed at night is the way they will be in the morning. We put the bookmark in our lives and expect everything to be the same when we return to it.

Of course, as we grow we realize that’s not true.
That it can’t be true.
That’s not how things happen.
That’s not the way the world works.

And what do we say when someone still believes it? We say he is being childish.

Oftentimes I wish I could retreat to childhood. Not because of how my childhood was, but because I want to recapture that mindset, the one that says that everything is going to be alright. When people tell me “everything is going to be fine” I snort. I recoil. I don’t believe them.

It’s not always going to be alright.
Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn’t.
But the road you must take to figure it out might break you before you ever find out for sure.

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§ 9 Responses to A bookmarked life"

  • joanne firth says:

    I love the way you wrote this, putting a bookmark in at night and thinking everything will be the same the next day. I know for myself, mostly an optimist, is because of all of the reassurance I received as a child. So many “it’s all going to work outs” and “it’s all going to be OK”. I do this with my kids, especially during bumpy times. We all know that tomorrow could change everything so that it’s not OK, you and I know that first hand, many times over. I think I would have broke a long time ago if I didn’t think that SOMETHING would work out. I must say, I’m a hold out, for if I wasn’t, I would have given up a long time ago. Beautiful post, true and bold.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I was never, since childhood, I suppose, a person who thought everything would work out. Nothing ever was that simple from the time I was 6yrs old. My mum left me and my 2 sisters and brother with our father. I prayed. God didn’t answer. I prayed more and harder. God still didn’t answer. So I gave up on him helping me. I was a child after all. Why was God punishing me?
    Up until 9yrs ago when I met my husband, I never believed it. I tried to have faith, but it never worked out the way I hoped. I kept trying and trying.
    My husband is an eternal optomist. I put on a good optomistic front until him. Now it’s real. I have him in my life. I have my children. I have most of my health. Whatever comes towards us, I can handle. He told me WE would handle it. That feels so much better. I’m not sure how it will end, but I’m trying. Share the burden.
    Everyday. I. Am. Trying.

  • JoAnn Kirk says:

    “When people tell me “everything is going to be fine” I snort. I recoil. I don’t believe them.”

    I agree. Once one has cancer and has looked into the abyss, nothing can ever be “fine” again.

  • Pamela Carlson says:

    I also love the image of the bookmark. So vivid!

    In troublous times, my dad was a “we’ll figure out something” kind of guy. I am like him in this. I do think I’ll figure out a way to adapt and get back to having the best time I can with the time I’ve got.

    Certainly I’ve had my episodes of railing against my troubles or my circumstances, and in some of those times, I did not feel hope or reassurance. At some point, the worst of it passed, and I started to see a way out. I thank my dad for passing that trait on to me. I’m sure I’ll need to use it again. Our precious, complicated lives are like that. xo

  • joanne firth says:

    Pam, I like what you said too. Strange how one day it does all seem like it will be ok, and then the next, wham! Hope comes and goes for me. It is difficult at times to recognize what triggers the hopelessness. Just like Lisa said, it would be nice to retreat to that childlike mindset, the one where no doubt ever creeps in. I’m still thinking about this post an hour later as it had a big impact on my thinking. Sometimes I miss my parent’s words of reassurance so badly, when I say them, it doesn’t feel the same.

  • I love your image of a bookmark. My bookmark has always been the glass half-full. No matter what, and there have been way too many, I wakeup the next day and for the most part, think life will continue along it’s merry way. Even though it’s been a little over four months since James died, part of me thinks he’s playing poker and any time now, I’ll hear his truck pull up in front of the Little House. The part of me that knows he’s not coming home, copes amazingly well, although I sometimes think I achieve this by cutting off my highs and my lows and living somewhere in the middle. Another part of me remembers James saying, “Sometimes you’re the bug, and sometimes you’re the windshield.” Regardless, I must go on.


  • Becky says:

    Yes… exactly. Holy cow Lisa. You’ve been in my mind or my journal or both. This road has broken me and I’m learning to put myself together again. I DO think, sometimes… despite it all that everything has the ability to be alright. Or maybe, we have the ability to be alright in the moment, whatever the moment may be. Both yes… a broken road.

  • denise says:

    You are a wise teacher and I know I am going to learn so much from you, through your grace and your honesty. I sit in respectful awe of your spirit. xoxo

  • I often wish I could too, because my own childhood was torn from me at such a young age. I don’t remember what it means to live a carefree existence, but that doesn’t mean I don’t long for it. And I’ve been broken, too many times to count.

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