impossible – adjective | \(ˌ)im-ˈpä-sə-bəl\
: unable to be done or to happen : not possible
: very difficult
: very difficult to deal with : very irritating or annoying
Yesterday, everything seemed impossible. After a series of unexpected activities sprinkled with a few deliberate choices, I was behind on my work by about a day and a half. Deadlines were stacking up against the normal unpredictability of having kids at home and parents aging at the same time. I should have spent the four hours of work time I carved out in the afternoon catching up. Instead, I decided to optimize the design of my website. The projects continued to back up, and I was learning how to create tables using <div> tags and style sheets.
I am impossible, I thought, regret growing over how I was spending (or wasting) my time. I am good under deadlines, but apparently not pressure. The growing, suffocating pressure of work and life and home and relationships.
I had big plans to start early this morning, too, and then the boys fought and I intervened, which always leaves me feeling uneasy. “I’m tired of this crap,” one of them said in anger. And I said the same thing back. Although, honestly, I’m not sure we were talking about the same things.
But my impossible life isn’t really all that impossible, if you must know, not compared with some of the worst-case-scenarios my friends are facing. Debilitating health crises, marriage fractures that never get set well and just keep having to be rebroken, financial burdens with no easy solutions, children who never call, friends who never call, God who never seems to answer.
I’ve written that list before, written it about other friends and about myself in other times. The impossible list that keeps happening over and over to different people in different decades. Worst-case scenarios that get trumped again and again.
And people survive. People thrive, despite the impossibilities. People keep hoping and believing. And God says, “With me, all things are possible … even yesterday. Even today.”
I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes: all you beautiful people just carrying on even though the sky is falling and the world is crumbling. I don’t know how they do it, I say, thinking of you going through the worst-case scenario, the one you never wanted to endure.
My friend Ann has been talking about grit this week, particularly when it comes to the writing life. But as she said, grit is transferable. Wherever you see yourself thriving in spite of the most difficult odds, take that resilience, take that sense of perseverance and refusal to give up, and apply it to the area of your life that feels most impossible. You’re doing it already, in fact. I can see it from here. That’s how I got through yesterday.
Life doesn’t feel so impossible right now, in this very moment. I’ve had a productive morning and a little encouragement, and I’m thinking about getting a second cup of coffee. And I’m thinking about you, how you keep going in spite of it all.
That’s what I want. I want to thrive in the impossible. I want to do the impossible.
At least most days.
What’s YOUR word of the week? Drop it into the comments section, or share it on this week’s Facebook post. If you post about your word on your blog, please slip the link into a comment below so I can stop by and join you.