Several years ago, I was sickened and disgusted as most dog lovers and decent human beings when I read about NFL football player, Michael Vick running a dog fighting ring. I don’t even tolerate my own dogs growling at each other so I cheered when Vick went to jail, jeered when he returned to the NFL, and rejected his claims of rehabilitation and having greater appreciation of dogs and other animal welfare.
Yesterday, I read that Vick repaid his $20 million in debt and for the first time thought, “Good for him.” He didn’t file for bankruptcy, negotiating, or running away, Vick manned up. Vick earns a hefty $3.5 million this year for playing football, not to mention a likely fortune with Nike.
But why do I care? Once again, I found myself fighting battles. A chronic fatigue syndrome/fibro flare caused by a virus, stress, or over activity reared its ugly head and knocked me down. Finances went from bad to worse. Not working steadily for the past four years depleted my savings. My husband is an Agriculture teacher and let’s just say that educators are not highly valued in Texas. Recently, we have received some assistance from a generous donor which has helped us tremendously. Until moving to the Lone Star State, I have worked and supported myself since college. I was independent and a hard worker. But some called me enabled for accepting assistance or just plain lazy. As chronic sufferers would surely agree, try living in our body for just one week!
But My admiration for Vick returning the money he owed and fighting to win a spot back as top quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles served as a reminder for me. I too have struggled and overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges at times in my life. Things have not always turned out as I planned and goals were unsuccessful. But I accepted defeat, learned, and moved on. I am resilient!
I took a break from writing this summer to try and give my mind some rest. I’ve been scattered, confused, and shooting in the dark. In other words, I was not planning, I was just doing. I knew what I wanted to do but stress, fear, anxiety, and defeatism kept me from effectively thinking, organizing and doing.
This is the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, and as a Jew this is the time of year for change to occur. More so than January 1st so future blogs will very likely describe my journey towards the next phase of my life.
“Losing a battle or losing everything we thought we possessed will bring us moments of sadness. But when those moments pass, we will discover the hidden strength that exists in each of us, a strength that will surprise us and increase our self-respect.
We will look around and say to ourselves: ‘I survived.’ And we will be cheered by our words.”
The above quote is from Manuscript Found in Accra by Paul Coelho, which I am currently reading. Coelho is author of the remarkable book The Alchemist. In the Manuscript, Coelho talks a lot about defeat, experience, and love. Many of Coelho’s writings resonate with me. Anticipate more quotes in future postings.
I survived many obstacles in my life single, alone, and independently. I am now married to a loving, caring, and supportive husband. I have some incredibly loving, supportive, and loyal family members. The moment of sadness has passed for me. I survived and I know my life will continue to be full of hope and joy.