So far, 2013 has seen the sudden death of my father, my diagnosis with a number of rather odd conditions, my wife hospitalised for a chronic condition which may need surgery (or at least long term scary medication), my son in A&E with a suspected fractured skull, and my daughter on the receiving end of suspected concussion from a nasty head injury.
The last three of those happened in the last couple of weeks.
As my grandma used to say, "it never rains but it pours".
She also used to say "if it's for you, it won't go by you", and that outlook helps a lot. Disruption like this always feels painful at the time, but hindsight has a way of making even the most unexpected disruption look inevitable. Since, really, anything that has happened was inevitable. It's often so difficult for us to look at reality and truly see it: we invent stories and truths for ourselves that comfort us, but then something comes along and rocks those truths. Each rock is an opportunity to look past the feeling of injustice and outrage that "bad things have happened to me, why me?" and understand that things happen simply because things happen. Time moves forward, and we can spend so much of our "now" looking back and trying to ascribe narrative reasoning to things that are essentially random, that we neglect to look at the "now" in front of us. And then we look back at that "now" days later and wonder why we wasted it.
My point is that I can view even the current stressful time in a positive light: a chance to spend more time with my family, a reminder of what is important in life, a reminder that the world is full of good people, a reminder that we're all mortal, and that we have no idea what may happen tomorrow, and we can spend each day fearful of the next, or sad about the last, or we can choose to spend today on today.
For me, this is something of a revelation. Even in the hardest times, we have the chance to find joy and wonder and happiness at humanity.