So, the past couple of weeks have been tough. I lost my heart dog and I miss that sweet little face every damn day. Now, I’m in the process of moving. Yay, me. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so they say. But what does that even mean? As you know, my mind tends to wander off the rails quite often, so I’ve been thinking about these turns of phrase people often use. There’s a catchphrase for practically every situation.
Whoever said, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” was obviously never in a crappy relationship. Or the victim of bullying. Or, you know, ever had a job dealing with people. Guess what? Words can and do hurt. Yet we throw this phrase around like it’s the North Star guiding us to a better place.
People employ phrases, aphorisms, idioms, metaphors, and clichés like they’re a dime a dozen. (See what I did there?) Seriously, these recurring collections of words are too often used as substitutes for real, honest, valuable conversation. I’m not even sure people understand what they are saying when using some of them.
Can’t see the forest for the trees. Two in the hand is worth one in the bush. He’s a fool who cannot conceal his wisdom. Don’t count your eggs before they hatch. By the time you puzzle your way through some of these, the topic of conversation has moved on, with some people none the wiser.
If the shoe fits, wear it. Just because it fits doesn’t mean I should put it on or that I even want to. Have you seen some of the heels out there? Whether they fit or not, I’d undoubtedly break an ankle. Then we’re back to sticks and stones… and now heels.
The best is yet to come. Really? ’Cause, it certainly feels like the older I get, the more tired and run down my body grows, the less “best” I feel. Not sure I’m turning that one around. I’d prefer to go back to childhood when I didn’t have bills and my mother chose my clothes and I didn’t have to decide what to make for dinner every freakin’ day.
And now we’re back to “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” This right here. This is the phrase that people love to spout at the worst times, when you are feeling so down in the dumps that one more stupid aphorism or euphemism or whatever literary label you put on it can’t hurt. Can it? (Refer back to sticks and stones, if you really want to know).
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Does it, though?
I experienced a devastating loss last week. I had to have my dog euthanized due to ongoing health issues. He was my heart dog, and my heart is broken. I miss his funny little face and soulful brown eyes more than any words, however witty, could express. My other dog is now sick with a collapsed trachea, which is getting worse, and I’m unsure what the future holds. I never was a fan of being kicked while I’m down.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I’m moving. That would be because my landlord is selling the condo. Finding a place in the age of a pandemic is challenging, to say the least. Not to mention that landlords and management companies have jacked all the prices up by HUNDREDS of dollars. The renting world is not what it was a year ago, that’s for sure.
Crap at work just keeps getting deeper. The powers that be keep piling on and piling on because hey, why not KEEP the salary of the two people we laid off a year ago but GIVE the work to someone else, namely me, and then keep adding to that the entire year and going forward. My boss has fantastic ideas on how to grow the business and wants me involved. Oh, that’s great, you might say. You’re a marketing whiz, you might proclaim. Yet, this translates to me continually starting new projects while maintaining my already overwhelming workload. Its. Exhausting.
I’ve just recently started putting serious effort into writing a book based on summers in WV and old family stories (à la Erma Bombeck in style). You’ve read some previews here in this very blog. The problem is that I’m too tired and too broke to give it the proper attention because I’m too busy making someone else rich.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But does it? Does it really? Or is it more like whatever doesn’t kill you gives you anxiety-ridden dysfunctional coping mechanisms? You won’t be dead, and the PTSD is a hoot!
Michael Brady, a University of Glasgow Philosophy professor, claims that Nietzsche meant to suggest that one should take suffering as an opportunity to build strength. But you know what? I’m good. I’m okay with my weaknesses. If not having to grow stronger means I can have my dogs here with me, alive and healthy, I’ll take it. I’d prefer to move where I damn well want, and have more time off work, or at least be paid well for the time and effort I’m putting in. I’d like to be writing more without fear, and I’d certainly like to stop spending so much time making someone else rich.
I don’t need to be stronger. Where’s the aphorism for that? The one I keep coming up with is an unappealing metaphor and 2/3 curse words. One guess as to what it is.
Is there any upside in that you will be away from your unpleasant neighbor? Or did that situation resolve itself so you judt have the moving hassle with no potential benefit?
While housing expense is soaring, I keep hearing how employers are unable to find needed workers. So might this be an opportunity to either change jobs or pressure yours for a raise? Even here “on the rural frontier” jobs that were scarce and only paying $8 an hour are now plentiful and offering $13 (for the exact same job).
Again, my sympathies for the loss of your sweet little companion. Nothing will seem okay until your grieving abates just a bit.
Yes, I’m hoping it will be quieter where I’m moving. Seems to be, anyway. Thank you for the kind words about my Rufus.
I always found it much more true to say, “That which does not kill me really pisses me off!” You have had way to much to be PO’d about. Rufus’ passing has to have been so painful for you and to have this move forced on you as well as your ongoing issues with your job and now issues with the health of your other pets… One can only take so much. I sincerely hope that you can catch a break soon and find some relief from some of these trials and tribulations. You deserve some time off, decent pay, and to get your book written and published!
All of those words that were supposed to be comforting to us (i.e. you’ll move on, you’ll get over it, etc., etc., etc.) they’re all, BULLSHIT, unless the person saying it is experiencing what you’re experiencing, then, the individual doesn’t know SQUAT about what you’re, going through, but, you still have to give them credit for the efforts of attempting to help you feel better.
I am so sorry that you lost your heart dog ❤ I lost my heart dog last year, just before COVID hit. They will always be our heart dogs ❤
I am sending you loads of hugs
I hate those stupid sayings. What doesn’t kill me just pisses me off. The only thing I’ve learned from suffering is that I don’t want to suffer. I don’t think people get stronger they just give up, or lie to themselves.
The loss of your beautiful heart dog is something that can’t be overstated. All of our losses don’t make us anything but miserable, unhappy and even angry. We don’t get over the ones we lose, we just learn to live with the emptiness and pain they leave behind. How is that supposed to make us stronger? Stronger for what? More losses?
And words are definitely weapons, worse than sticks and stones. And the best is yet to come? How stupid is THAT!
I’m sorry you’re in the position you’re in right now, but good luck with your move. I hope it won’t be as noisy. And I hope your dog gets better quickly. Life can truly suck at times.