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APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

- T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

Sure, April acts cruel, but this February is giving it a run for its money.

So far, I count:

* 2 friends who were laid off
* 3 friends who have quit their jobs (2 for boss reasons, 1 for family pressure reasons)
* 2 friends who are so sick, they feel like their “lungs are coming loose”
* 1 friend who was deployed and just arrived in Iraq
* 7 people who are going through terrible relationship issues
* 1 friend who is trying to work through the anniversary of her mom’s death

* 1 couple who is facing the possibility of childlessness
* 1 friend who is facing losing her home
* 1 friend who was hit by a car
* 1 friend who sliced her hand so bad she’s been in a splint for a month
* general exhaustion all around

You probably could add your own chant to this litany.

I can, however, be thankful, and I am, that I haven’t heard about any deaths for me and my friends, or any separations. Those things are so permanent.  It just seems to me to be all about hard times right now.

Hard times in the economy.  Hard times at home. Hard times at work.  Hard times in love.

Well, the good thing about hard times is, by definition, they pass. If they didn’t, you’d just call it “life”.  Life is all the ups and downs together, and things get better as life goes on, especially when things are bad. Plus you have more good things to draw on as the years pass—memories of good days that carry you through the tough ones.

And life is long.

And February is not.

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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