Some Very Crappy, Very Good News

I have some crappy news for you…

…but, if you choose to take this quick ride with me, you’ll soon see it’s actually quite good.

I begin with a series of crappy events in the life of Deirdre over the past month:

  • Got a nasty ick bug that lasted a good two weeks.
  • Didn’t get accepted into a project I thought I was totally perfect for
  • A loved one got a scary diagnosis

Some of the above incidents are far worse than others. That’s not the point.  (It’s also worth mentioning that LOTS of great things happened this month, too. Also not the point.)

The point isn’t even about how the crappy things came to be.

The point is that they came to be for no other reason than crap happens. Pure and simple. And knowing (and believing) this made all of the difference.

Let me explain.

I’ve spent a really good part of my life doing everything possible to stave off anything crappy. And I still do to an extent. I take Vitamin C and I drive carefully and I try to be thoughtful with others.

The difference is that I used to think that if I just did these things all the time, and I did them right, then I could keep all the crappy things away.

Which led to two big problems:

  • I began to get anxious as I tried to predict every possible calamity, feeling like I had to keep a million “prevent-the-crap” balls in the air or else one would come down and I wouldn’t survive it
  • When crappy things did happen, I felt ashamed, like I was at fault for not trying hard enough. Or I blamed others for letting me down

But, after talking to people who aren’t so freaked out all the time, I came to realize something we’ve all heard…but don’t all really believe.

Despite how hard we work to keep every crappy thing at bay. Despite how much we think ahead and plan.  Crap Happens

It’s a fact. The earth goes around the sun. Rain falls. Crappy things happen. We cannot control this.

You have to really believe this. You simply do not have the power to keep all crappy things from happening. You already know it’s true for others. I swear it’s true for you.

Believe it and, ironically, find relief.

Simply accepting that crappy situations are a fact of life can ease up on our freaked-out-ness. The freaked-out anxiety that has us constantly forecasting every potentially crappy future…the freaked-out reactions we have when things go crappy…the freaked-out guilt and shame afterwards.

Let’s get specific, yes? Here are some guaranteed crappy things that will happen to all of us (assuming we’re around for a while):

  • We will get sick…perhaps right before or during a vacation
  • We will fight with people we care about…and it will hurt
  • We will stub our toes, cut ourselves while shaving, roll our ankles or incur some other kind of minor injury
  • We will stain or otherwise ruin our favorite shirts, jeans, etc.
  • We will put on weight
  • We will be rejected for something or by someone
  • We will find that others are better than us at some things
  • We will cast a vote for people or decisions we care about…and they will lose
  • We will lose pets and loved ones, some of them far too soon
  • We will die

Jeez Deirdre, you may be thinking…what kind of Deirdre-downer list is this?

But it’s NOT. Because the second you accept that crappy things happen, is the second you’re not so rocked when they do. It’s the second you don’t feel quite so guilty because you didn’t do your crap-deflecting job sufficiently.

Now…what I’m NOT saying.

  • I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try to prevent the crappy stuff. It’s important to treat ourselves and others with care
  • I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try to learn from and, when appropriate, fix/apologize for the crappy stuff…especially if we really are responsible in some way
  • I’m not even saying that accepting the crappy reality of life will make all of the crappy stuff hurt less

What I am saying is that it doesn’t matter what we do to prevent the crappy stuff…some will happen anyway. And, when it does, all we can control is how we accept and/or respond to it.

Which, in the end, matters more than anything. To know that we have what it takes to survive and learn from the crappy things. Because we’ve done it plenty before. And, I promise you, those instances weren’t flukes.

So let this crappy news be your greatest news. Stop anxiously trying to predict it all. Stop being so ashamed when it happens.

After all, there are plenty of not-crappy things that are guaranteed to happen in this life…

…and you’ll want to be ready to fully enjoy them when they do.

PS: Now that we’ve discussed the crappy things, let’s return to that part about enjoying the good stuff. We’ve launched an extraordinary new “mental boot camp” in the mountains to help those who are stuck, in transition…or just want to make things even better…take a weekend to figure out how. Here are the details: Deirdre and Jay’s exciting new program to create a more satisfying life

13 thoughts on “Some Very Crappy, Very Good News

  1. Sharon Corrigan says:

    I always enjoy these little tidbits and always read them, because you aren’t just filling space and trying to post daily- but you wait until you have something worthwhile to say. Hey, and good luck on the new oroject!

    1. Thanks a ton, Sharon…that really means a lot to me because you’re right…I do try to wait until I have something meaningful to say. (Though it’s tempting to blather on when I don’t!) Appreciate the comment, and the well wishes. We’re super excited!

  2. You have the most incredible timing for your topics its almost scary! YES I too have had a ton of crappy things happen the last couple of months and reading this article actually just infused a ray of light in my mind. Get back up/ get over it/ keep going. accept that it doesn’t always go the way you envisioned it. Thanks Deirdre Maloney…..you are awesome!

    1. I’m so glad to hear this, Sherry! Thank YOU for letting me know that this helped you today…so appreciate it!

    2. Jeanne Schmelzer says:

      All so very true!

  3. “Deirdre Downer” is my new catch phrase!! Thanks for this great perspective. Good luck with the camp!!

    1. Ha! That was actually Jay’s contribution to the piece upon reviewing it. Apparently “Debbie Downer” didn’t do it for him. 🙂

  4. Patty Costa says:

    Thanks again Deirdre for you wisdom . Acceptance is the secret to peace. Easy – no but I’m thinking your sparkplug project will be most useful.

    1. Thanks Patty – acceptance really is everything! Appreciate the read and comment!

  5. Caroline Salazar says:

    Thank you fir reminding us to be at ease when things go wrong. I’m a woman of faith and my first go to is prayer and scripture “Be still and know that I am God”.

    1. Thanks for this, Caroline. It’s wonderful that you have a place to go to when the hard stuff inevitably happens and I appreciate the comment!

  6. Jay Arnett says:

    Love your comments. They always bring a chuckle and make me feel better about my day…and they are true. Thanks.

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