I HATE THAT LIFE’S NOT FAIR, and what I’m going to do about it.

I don’t handle not getting my way too well. I know I’m supposed to be an adult about it. Plus I’m a parent, and I need to set an example for my child. But when I don’t get my way, I suffer from simmering anger, I give the cold shoulder or I hand out heaps of condescension to whoever I’m mad at.  I sometimes boil over with frustration.  Why? “IT’S NOT FAIR” says my childish reaction, repeating itself over and over in my head like a broken record.

I admit it. I still HATE life isn’t fair. And since life isn’t fair ALL the time, as any adult knows, I’m in quite the quandary, don’t you think?

How could I never have addressed this serious fault in my personality for forty-five years? Well, I’ve continued to act like a child about it a lot of the time. I simply live in Groundhog Day-like frustration a lot of the time. But if I want a happy peaceful life, I have to face the C word….CHANGE!  

So let me start here by declaring, for myself, let me shout from the hilltops: LIFE’S NOT FAIR AND I HATE HOW THE WORLD WORKS SOMETIMES! I especially get riled up when politics or “who you know” comes into play.  But, of course, that’s exactly how the world is run: by politics and who you know. So unless I deal with reality I have a long life of frustration ahead of me. Is that something I’m willing to face, and deal with?

The answer has to be yes. Logic says so. I need to change how I react to situations in order to live a happier life. As they say, it’s not what happens to you that makes your life what it is, it’s how you react to what happens to you.  

The latest trigger in my frustration barometer is on the face of it, so benign, you can laugh. Go ahead. I recently didn’t get any hits on a ladies softball league I was subbing in, and now I fear they think I stink and won’t ask me to play again. And boy am I mad. After all, I tell myself:  all I need is to start playing in more games, get more at bats to practice my hitting, and I KNOW I can eventually become a strong hitter. Today I even went to a batting range to practice, but it wasn’t enough. After not playing softball for 25+ years, I didn’t impress. And I really, really wanted to play well so that they would put me on the team permanently, because win or lose I truly enjoy playing very much. This team took the game so seriously, I fear for my softball future. And IT’S NOT FAIR! I am just as good as some of the other permanent players, but those players are already friends with the other players. IT’S WHO YOU KNOW!  And I don’t know these other women. LIFE’S NOT FAIR.

Ok, now how am I going to CHANGE? How am I going to deal with this frustration I have, this setback in my life. Let me think about my choices. One, I can focus on another sport I’ve been wanting to get more involved in such as tennis, where I don’t have to be on a team, and I can participate in a democratic clinic. Tennis can be my softball replacement. I think that’s a pretty healthy attitude.

Another option is to continue practicing hitting so I can improve enough that a team will want me. I can try to get more subbing opportunities on other teams for now, and then a permanent slot on a team next year. This option keeps my hopes alive. Again, it’s my choice. Putting in the practice time is a choice I have which I can decide to pursue. I can also continue to keep in touch with other women on other teams in case slots open up throughout the season.

It sounds a bit crazy to me to say that I have to practice batting a lot if I want to play on a 35+ women’s softball league. My mind says it’s not fair; the players shouldn’t take the games so seriously and should just have fun and let me play. But that’s not how it works. They want to win. And I’m not friendly enough with anyone on the league to simply “give” me a spot, like other women have been lucky enough to have happen.  

I guess I need to head to the batting cages if I want to have a chance to play in this league. It’s not fair, but I can choose my reaction. I have the power to decide to practice so that a team actually will want me, so that a team will want to recruit me. I need to think about it, lose the anger, and simply accept the reality of life. Is it really worth getting upset about the unfairness and holding onto the anger around it? I need to accept reality, let go of the anger, and simply make a choice.

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