Coping Skills Required

A kind of spiritual totem that I discovered during my lunch hour in the FiDi this year.

Throughout the year, I’ve blogged about dealing with my life, its constant changes, ups and downs.  In the shadows of the heart-breaking school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and the economic anxiety over the fiscal cliff, it’s so easy to lose it nowadays, and it is all I have to do to make sure my coping skills are enough to withstand the pressure.  Simply walking out the door and crossing streets are exercises in avoiding life-and-death situations.

I’m never going to pretend to know all the answers because really most decisions we make in life are on the gray middle part of the spectrum.  They’re not always black and white.  Every move I make seem to be judgment calls, and it’s their outcomes that determine whether they were good or bad decisions.

I’ve said as much, my life is a work in progress.  Even though I know coping requires being mindful of my thoughts and stepping back and taking a deep breath before I dive in, I’m not always faithful to them, and I inevitably end up making mistakes.  Failing is unavoidable, though, and it’s the lessons we learn, how we pick ourselves up, resolve problems and move on that are the most important things to focus on going forward.

As 2012 comes to a close, I realize how far I’ve come since the end of 2011, when I was devising my plan to get back on my feet.  Like most Americans, I still have my work cut out for myself in 2013.  But at least we outlasted the typically brilliant Mayans’ false prediction of Armageddon on December 21, which brings me to the first coping skill one should always remember: maintain a sense of humor.