“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”
– Joshua J. Marine
In light of what is happening throughout the world, I thought this was a quote that has been said in other ways, but the word ‘meaningful’ stood out for me. There have certainly been challenges from several fronts and because I work with people who are anxious and fearful at the best of times, what is being thrown at all of us is even more challenging for those people who are empaths or the types who were told as children that they are “too sensitive.”
I have just been lucky enough to squeeze in a fortnight with my grandchildren in Melbourne. Like a lot of grandparents I hadn’t seen the children, apart from Zoom, for 18 months. So although I was really looking forward to the trip, the anticipation and excitement was flattened a little by the fact that I might not actually get on the plane at the 11th hour, if our government decided to lock the borders back up. When I was a child, I can remember my mother saying, “Don’t get too excited it might never happen.” These words kept trying to challenge me, trying to stop me from enjoying that challenging week as I did extra work in preparation to be stuck over there for longer than intended.
I did get there, and the time with the children meant the challenge was definitely meaningful to me. The borders did close the night I arrived so I got an extra 5 days – extra meaningful time. The next challenge was filling in the form on my phone on my own to get the Covid test – a prerequisite to get back on the plane to come home. There was a time constraint to get the test done before the transport came to take the tests away – any minute now I was told. I had to keep talking myself down from that stress and the meaningful part of that was that I DID it. Another meaningful moment to savour. This technology is definitely a challenge for this older person, and what can be a breeze for a younger person, can wind up the cortisol levels of someone like me.
I’m grateful that I have the skills to be able to wind the stress back down. There was a time in my life when I didn’t know it was possible. I allowed the daily challenges to make me anxious, I allowed the unknown to dictate how I would feel. I have also learnt that my biology is responsible for some of that hypersensitive reaction so rather than judging myself I cut myself some slack, breathe into the situation and receive the meaningful learning from each situation that develops.
Enjoy your own meaningful learning each day!