Thursday, July 22, 2010

Life really isn't fair

I had a great talk with my best friend last night. She is smart, pretty, and creative. She makes good money. She's married to a guy who adores her, who also makes great money. Her life, from the outside, looks great.

But she and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for over a year.

The irony is, although she's been married for 6 years, she didn't even start trying until last year. She wasn't sure that they really could do a good job at having she did a ton of research and soul searching and finally came to the conclusion that having kids is what they truly wanted and something that they thought they could do well. It was a responsible, pragmatic way to go about it.

But she still can't get pregnant.

And within the last few months, she's found out that her only two siblings are pregnant. AGAIN. Truthfully, her two siblings are making some choices that are pretty poor. These new babies are going to have their work cut out for them because they're going to have to overcome a lot just to have a successful outlook on life.

She's been struggling with it - the fairness of it. It isn't fair.

Last night she told me that she has a new perspective. And that is this:
Fairness is disproportionate sometimes.

Lemme' 'splain. See, her siblings can look at her life and say that it isn't fair that she has such a loving husband while they have spouses that aren't as supportive or doting. Her siblings can say that it isn't fair that she was gifted with a sharp mind - one that allowed her to go through school without much effort - while they struggled through school and eventually dropped out. Her brain is responsible for her graduating as an engineer, which got her a great job, where she met her husband. That's not really fair either.

I reflected on her statement and thought about the things in my life that aren't fair.

It isn't fair that I have a slow metabolism.

It isn't fair that I'm 33, not married, and without kids. Because of some unfair life events, I may never be able to get pregnant... or if I do, I will be in the high risk category - both for my baby and myself.

It isn't fair that food is a drug that I've learned to use...and one that I have a hard time shaking free from.

It isn't fair that I was molested as a kid, had a physically abusive high school boyfriend, and a verbally insensitive boyfriend as an adult.

It isn't fair that I have giant boobs that makes running difficult sometimes.

It isn't fair that I had a dad that didn't want kids and while he was always lived in the same house as us, he wanted nothing to do with us.

It isn't fair that, at 33, I still get zits and that I have a big forehead (some might call it a fivehead!).

And it SURE isn't fair that my knees are going to be fat, no matter how healthy I get. This has always been the case - no matter what size I've been.

BUT I was also blessed with a sharp mind and attention to detail, which has made me good at every job I've had. I'm reasonably attractive (at least I don't think people vomit when they see me). I have a proportionate/hourglass shape to my body. I've met a man that really loves me, who has taught me great things about myself and about what it is like to be in a healthy relationship. I'm living in a town that I've wanted to live in ever since my family left it (when I was 7). I've never been cheated out of money, like Katy has. I've never had to start over from scratch. And I (knock on wood) have never had to experience the hardships of being a single mom. I've never been laid off. Both of my parents are still alive and my little sister is one of my greatest friends.

My mom always told me to count my blessings when I started feeling sorry for myself. And while that worked sometimes, I guess putting it in the fair vs. not-fair light really helps it bring home the lesson that she was probably trying to teach me.

Rather than looking at God as as this all knowing father figure that bestows blessings on some people and hardships on another, I can see this may be something that is more chance than anything else. Fairness, or lack thereof, isn't meant to punish. So, I'm not being punished by having fat knees, freckles, a propensity to turn to chocolate before other comforts, and for not having a husband and kids yet (if ever). Those are just the times in my life when I happened to get the shorter straw.

And somehow, boiling it down to facts or randomness, makes the things that I wished were different in my life more tolerable.

So no, life isn't fair.

But now that I have this new perspective, I'm not sure I mind the unfairness as much as I did before.


Katy said...

my post today too was about perspective! I like your take on it. I really think a lot of life is chance and then the other part is how we choose to deal with it.

Jams said...

I think that your friend (and you) are very wise. Life isn't fair. And comparing yourself to others is a dangerous road to go down. Because we, as humans, see all the good that other people have. It's hard for us to see the "bad." And bad is a relative term... What's bad to us, may not be bad to others.

It's always good to say to yourself.. so what if I don't have everything I want, if life isn't fair... Look for the good, because if you look hard enough, you'll find it!


Debbie said...

I liked your post today. Life is not fair if it was I would be skinny like both of my sisters. But if life was fair they would both have finished college like me and have a great job which I love. Thanks for reminding me..

Mandy said...

I have been having a hard time with the whole "Life isn't fair" dealio as well! It's not fair that my dad, who will have nothing to do with me now, but when he did, chose to say really mean and hurtful things is now spying on me by reading what I blog every day. It is really hard to say what I want when I know he's just digging for dirt to use against me later!

I always look at it this way, "It's not fair that I have gorgeous blue eyes and long elegant fingers to people who don't have those things! But, if they want my eyes and hands, they have to take my crooked hips and big arse as well!" :D

Lesia said...

My list of not fairs would out do most of every one I know BUT I chose NOT to focus on that and move on with the things that ARE

Marion said...

Wow! Just what I needed to hear! I commonly have pitty parties for myself that I am single, 33, no kids and never been in love. I'm fat etc etc. BUt I do have a lot going for me and am going to remember that! Thank you for the reminder!

Karen@WaistingTime said...

Wow! This post is very powerful. When I would complain to my mom growing up that something she did to me wasn't fair, she always responded that "Life isn't fair." I like that you remind us to look at the good parts of our lives too. It is all too easy to focus on the other "unfair" pieces. And it is also a great reminder that when we look at anyone else and envy their life, we never know what sadness or misery they might be hiding.

Janell said...

A fivehead!!!!
Yeah, life is life, up and down, in and out, alive and dead. Good with the bad. One day you're in and then next, you're out.

When we accept that life is all that it is -- crap & ice cream, fairness doesn't even come into it.

Misspudding said...

I just came here to say two things.

I, too, have a high forehead. You know what that means? We have big brains. And you know what that means? Yeah, we're awesome.

Second, your comment about "reasonably attractive"...OMG, you are the cutest thing ever. I'm serious! Your smile is awesome and those cheekbones are wonderful. :) And you have great hair. I think those are the three things I really, really love about myself, too...

And no, nothing's fair. But really, life would suck if we didn't have those moments of sadness to compare our relative happiness to. Seriously, if we always had an average day or average life, what would be the point? No highs, no lows. Boring. I'd rather have lived to the fullest and died instead of just being from day to day. Carpe diem, I guess?

Traci said...

We have some similar "nor fair" things in life. It really is all about perspective.

TinaM said...

Your best friend sounds just like mine! Great Job, great fiance with a great job, pretty, but she couldn't have kids either. She was told 8 years ago she would never be able to get pregnant. BUT now she is! (complete shock for her) So maybe there's hope for her yet!

I love this post. You are so right. I always have lived by "It Could ALWAYS Be Worse." That helps most of the times. I never compare myself to her, to depressing LOL.

BUT you have such a valid point. If I think about it, even though some people have everything I wish I did... I am lucky in OTHER ways. I'm going to try really hard to remember this. Great post!!!

Pencil Skirt Bound said...

I LOVE that I'm following you so I can read neat-o posts like this one!


And I love that you have a fivehead because I have a twohead and have always wanted a bigger forehead so I can have bangs. *Sigh* I love bangs! But I can't have them because I look like I'm drowning in hair and trying to pull myself to shore.

Amy P said...

I always thought it was unfair that my calves are huge. No matter what size I've been, I have these big muscular calves. Then some guy once told me "I wish I had calves like yours, that's so unfair!" Now, I can't say that I am proud of my man calves. But I can say that I am proud of how they look in these hot new heels I bought this weekend! ;)

I think it comes down to focusing on what you are thankful for. The grass is always greener, but there can also be some nasty grub worms under that perfect looking yard.

Oh. And I think it's not fair that your hair looks so cute in braids in all your pictures from your 5Ks...and that you can show your teeth when you smile without looking like a moron (I SO cannot do that!) :)

Danielle said...

This post is absolutely beautiful - and something we forget so easily! There are a million people you can look at and list off all the reasons why their life is better, easier, luckier than yours. But a million people could do the same about yours.

A friend used to say that "a challenge is simply a chance for you to grow stronger". She's one of those optimistic types that almost always turns what might be a negative, "why me!?" situations into a chance to prove herself.

Nothing is ever fair. We just need to remember and accept that - and realize that there are times when we benefit from that unfairness. :)

Lanie Painie said...

This is one I can't really sink my teeth into. Had a teacher in high school who would automatically lower us a half letter grade if we said "it's not fair" and I really have grown to appreciate his philosophy. That's a "bad word" in my house. We don't say it. I guess if I start allowing myself to see the world in terms of fairness, it would be (even more) difficult for me to get out of bed in the morning.