123 requested a blog on life’s challenges. And THAT is a challenge…but I think he/she was thinking more along the lines of classic/tragic/life-altering challenges mixed in with bigger-bite-than-can-be-chewed challenges – those that are inflicted by life and those that are self-inflicted.
I have had some of each.
Having said that, one thing is surprising (and only learned later in life): it is only a challenge if you see it that way. In other words, challenges are defined by circumstances and timing and all that dross and chaos but I think they are mostly determined by one’s attitude. As Sal has often said, “Attitude is everything!”
So, I suppose my first challenge was being a short, thick, brutish Celt with a dour attitude (even as a swaddled infant) but NOT knowing that – not at first, anyway. And that view coloured my entire youth (along with some especially difficult circumstances and bad timing of course). Ooooooh, it was tough. It reeeeaaaally was! Poor me. I.e. I had some pimples when I was virtually unable to cope with them (lots of Clearasil got me through the worst of it). I got almost frozen when talking to girls until grade 10 (but then suffered from listening to high school girl drivel for what seemed like an eternity). I hated school and most schools hated me (or so it seemed) and I have never been even medium sized let alone slim (Hey! Looking good in tight jeans was important back then). Youth was just a continual horror show!
But, at 21, I met Sal and sunshine broke through. It’s all good now. Whew.
Despite that specious example, I think that the first challenge for a child is knowing when there is a challenge. Kids do not have perspective. I.e. we were insanely poor growing up. My father was totally wrecked from WW2 (100% disability). I attended 13 different schools before graduating and I skipped a grade! I had a part-time job from age 11 on. Had to. But were any of those real challenges? Being poor was just ‘the way it was’. My wrecked father was all I knew. Adjusting to different schools WAS a challenge but it was also incredibly good training for lowering the intimidation factor later in my life. Was it a challenge or a gift?
In other words, a large part of ‘challenge’ is attitude.
But you knew that.
123 may have made the request for this subject more to get perspective from my rather disparate readership. We all have points of view. We all have attitude. We are also NOT young. My dwindling readership is likely of the median age of post-middle. I am guessing 50+ and maybe older. The ‘challenge’, such as it is, is to 1. get more readers, 2. get more comments. 3. learn from everyone…..even the Bubbas. So, I have not met those challenges very well. But, oh well……(see? Attitude is everything).
And the forum topic is open……
Before we get to that, it may be that 123 is currently facing a big challenge and either wants advice or wants to vent and share it. I think that is OK, too. On the assumption that advice is wanted, I am inclined to the trite: “This, too, shall pass.” Or, perhaps, “You can always move and change your name.” Or, “Hey! Babies happen. Suck it up and do the right thing, man!” Or, in the enduring lyrics of Paul Simon, “Get on the bus, Gus! Get a new plan, Stan. Get yourself free.”
Clearly attitude should also be very flexible…….