Life must have sucked for female pilgrims.
They had to prepare meals from scratch, toil in the sun wearing a dress dragging the floor, sewed all of their family’s clothes, all while a baby was dangling from their nipple. These women were married to mates they abhorred and divorce was not an option. Could you imagine the inane dinner topics by the hearth with their huge family? No wonder they dropped dead at the ripe old age of 30!
The biggest excitement must have been the rare piece of gossip which spread like typhoid fever. The latest gossip that could have swirled through the community, was that a neighbor, Bessie Thurman, committed a moral transgression by showing up to church in a dress 3 inches higher than the socially accepted norm. SHAME THAT SLUT!
Imagine what the pale, thin lipped church women whispered: “Oh poor Bessie has been touched by the devil. He raised her hemline and now she has disgraced Jeremiah and their 10 children. Time to tie her to a tree and set her ablaze.”
Thankfully, centuries later, American society is less judgmental, but still has a long way to go. Every generation romanticizes a previous generation while complaining of the current one. I am guilty of this and criticize what I see and hear happening in America. There is so much political dysfunction and consequently popular anger as a reaction. Conversely, for every ignorant idiot that crosses my path, another individual reminds me how kind and charitable we can be. There are a lot of Americans who care and eschew apathy. I meet them all the time. It’s a challenge trying to figure out how to get more people engaged in what is happening politically and to become more community oriented. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else but America. As humans, we are never fully satisfied with what we have. There are an unprecedented number of people living in poverty and many find employment impossible. Everyday, I wake up and count my blessings. I am grateful to live in the beautiful, cultural state of New York.
One day last week I woke up very depressed, in physical pain and sobbing. The next day, the sun was shining and my mood lifted. I had something to look forward to since three of my girlfriends planned to visit that evening. They cooked dinner and made cocktails rivaling those $18 libations in Manhattan’s finest bars. By the end of the evening, my spirit was lifted by the positive mood and laughter of my friends. They, too, are going through rough patches, and yet we were able to lean on each other and laugh till our bellies ached. Ok, I am sure that the lemon drop martinis, which took my mad scientist friend a half hour to concoct, were a factor.
The next morning one of my friends called and said: “Mags, I so needed last night. Thank you. I have been beyond tired and fed up lately. But because of last night, I woke up and was able to get through my next round of hell.”
Isn’t life so much more fulfilling when you have friends who express and share gratitude?
On September 27 I finally had my cast removed. My broken femur healed and due to the arduous work with a physical and massage therapist, my orthopedic surgeon gasped when he saw how much the swelling had gone down. I still have a long road, but I am making progress. I still can’t drive and have trouble transferring to the shower on my own, but I am blessed with friends who are there to assist me.
Have you gone through something heart wrenching lately? If you have, I sincerely hope you get through it. Most importantly, please try to focus on the positive in your life. Be thankful.