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Fix what you can

Yesterday, there was a lot on my mind. I was having one of those days where I couldn’t shut my brain off, and I was mentally sifting through the problems in my life. Don’t get me wrong: my life is good. I don’t have any grave concerns. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things. And a good chunk of them are out of my control. Mostly, I want to make things better, and I can’t. I can just…wait. And watch. And wonder. This is, in case you haven’t guessed it, something I’m not exactly good at.

If you tell me you’re stressed, I want to make it better. If you tell me that you had a bad day, I want to hear about it. This is not for show. This is not an idle curiosity. This is me, genuinely wanting to help. But there are always things that I can’t fix. Things that aren’t mine to fix. Things that are as they are, and perhaps always will be.

Sometimes, not being able to help? It makes me crazy. I don’t know that’s happening until it’s in retrospect, and I realize that my words have come out in MORON. Possibly with a slight bit of IDIOT thrown in for good measure. But, you know, to quote Lorelai Gilmore? “Once your heart’s involved, it all comes out in moron.” That’s true. So true. Maybe especially true in my case.

But there are things I cannot fix right now. I wish nothing more than a soft word and a hug could cure them, but I’m not sure how far that would even carry. What I do know is that, yesterday, I fixed what I could. I went through my closet and threw out two bags of things. I literally repaired other items: stitched a hem on a pair of pants, tightened all the buttons on my dress pants, and reorganized my dresser. Because those things? I can fix. And, to be honest, I like the symbolism. I like feeling like, maybe, things will be stitched and whole. That something as small as a gesture can repair what needs repairing or fix what might be broken.

There’s something else, though. Not all things are meant to be fixed. Not all broken things are wrong. Not all imperfections are bad. It’s been pointed out, recently, that I tend to want to fix everything. Sometimes, that desire comes out sideways. The intentions are good, but the execution is off. It occasionally comes out as nagging, which is not my intention.

Wanting to make things better and being able to do so are two different animals. So, I fix what I can, when I can – where it’s wanted. People aren’t projects to be fixed. People aren’t a rip to be repaired. You can offer someone a hand, but it’s up to them to take it. The funny thing is that, sometimes, we are the needle and thread. We are the method of repair. It’s important not to underestimate the beauty of a willing heart, the strength found in a shared burden, or the way love always changes everything.

Today, there’s still a lot on my mind. But it’ll all get sorted out. Faith is funny like that. Belief with an absence of proof. A quiet thing that builds, like a light in the dark.

Today is a new day. Today is a new month. It is a beginning. A fresh start. Full of potential. Seize it all.

Fix what you can.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. July 3, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I can understand how you feel on this, if only because I know you: You’re a fixer, Ali. As in, you like to fix things, not that you need fixing, hahaha. In truth, I’ve rarely (if ever) met anyone as compassionate, as generous and as caring as you are, despite your snarky “don’t mess with me, doofus” side (which is obviously awesome because DONT’ NOBODY WANNA MESS WITH THE TROTTA). For those you care about, you’d quite literally give your right arm so.. I’m guessing when there’s something that is just out of reach or that can’t be helped, which either needs to run its own course or that can’t be changed… it must be impossibly difficult. Nobody likes to see those they care about suffer or struggle, and especially those of us with enormous hearts, like you.

    Anyway, point being, if it’s tough for you to let go and to stand by, it only means that you’re a very giving, wonderful person. I suppose that’s the positive.

    PS: I’m still getting the hang of this WordPress thing but wow, it is SO great to read you regularly again. I’m sorry I was so lazy.

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