Getting Better, Not Bitter - and the Week in Song Lyrics

It has been a short training week.  I'm am coming down with a miserable sinus/cold thing.  Major yuck.

Next week, training begins for the 2012 Tour de Mom!  Since I'm not feeling great, there are no significant training updates.  I am laying low until I am less snotty.

On the non-training front, there is a lot going on, though.  For one thing: all my PhD applications are in . . .  let's hope I get in somewhere!  For another: work is super busy.  Yet another: working on a really interesting research project this semester.

One of the biggest things going on is that I have a lot of friends around me going through hard times.  We have talked about just how tough it is to not get bitter about bad circumstances, especially when they happen in 3’s, 6’s or even 16’s. But letting something make you bitter, I have realized through my own trials, is the same thing as letting your circumstances beat you.   

You hear me talk a lot about my Dad-isms.  One of my favorites is "there are no victims, only volunteers."  I agreed with this completely until someone said: what about certain types of cancer, or freak accidents, or your dog breaking his leg?  Surely you didn't do something to cause all of those to happen?  Not everything is in our control.  We were talking about how there a lot of people in life to whom shit just happens.  I know, because for a long time I was one of those people.  (Hell, some would still consider me one of those people.)

At that time in my life, the people around me were not those people.   So no one understood what it was like to have your contacts pop out while driving, your dog break his leg, a hurricane flood your wood floors and your heart stop beating correctly all in the same week.  But another part was my mentality - a combination of the attitude why does this kind of shit always happen to me? why can't it happen to someone else?  and a tendency to unknowingly create an obstacle to solving the problem that in turn keeps the problem firmly rooted.  The longer I held onto that feeling of what next? why me?, the harder it was to let go of it, and the more it stood between me and any possible solutions.
When dad says there are no victims, only volunteers, he's acknowledging that we all play some little part in causing what happens to us, whether we like it or not. 
There are many things in life that we do not control. But I realized that, in the cases of things we can't control, it's not our actions or thoughts leading up to those circumstances which cause them to occur. It is, however, as our actions and thoughts after they occur that determines what happens next.

Just a few days ago, a Facebook friend posted this, and it fit perfectly with my conversation with dad and my friends. It isn't just about being a victim by creating bad circumstances for yourself - it is about discarding the "victim mentality" even when things you can’t control happen. Because they always will. It's about saying to yourself, "I am not going to be bitter. I am going to be better.”

Without any further adieu, the week in song lyrics, in honor of making fresh starts on your own:

I'm gonna marry the night
I won't give up on my life
I'm a warrior queen, live passionately, tonight
I'm gonna marry the dark
Gonna make love to the stars
I'm a soldier to my own emptiness
I am a winner....
-Marry the Night, Lady Gaga

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