He smiles proudly as after years of hard work, he pulls the last coupon out of the loan booklet. The car is his. A week later he gets the rug pulled out from under him when he is told during the yearly inspection the car has some problems.

He pulls his emotions together and agrees to pay for the necessary repairs in order to pass the inspection but holds off on larger problems to research his options. I see the disappointment on his face, but I was inspired by how he did not go into victim mode. Instead, he pulled through.

We live our lives with goals, and sometimes on this journey we stumble and get bruised.

She went to her mailbox and pulled out the jury duty standby notice. Like many people called for the same thing, she didn’t look forward to it, but she knew that doing the right thing is important. Her number was pulled on the fifth night. The forecast was for a windy, rainy day; she was worried about traveling. As it turned out, she got a ride to the courthouse – and after four hours the clerk told the room that it was a slow day. They were all dismissed. She won’t be called again for four years, and she got paid $40. She smiles as she waits for the bus.

There was no rain or wind after all.

We live our lives with fear and anxiety on this journey, but sometimes we get rewarded, in big and small ways.

Whether it’s finding out your car needs major repairs, or worrying how you’re going to get to an important appointment, you can get pulled by emotions into negative or fearful thinking. It’s understandable. Every day, we’re faced with anxiety, annoyances, disappointments, rude behavior and discouraging situations. We fear something will go wrong. We all want to stay in our comfort zone.

Oftentimes, we just can’t do that, but someone can be there to help us.

There have been days I want to pull the covers over my head, because I don’t feel as if I’m strong enough to get through some events. But then he pushes the covers away and reassures me that I don’t need to be strong. He is there to help me.

I think back on the week my sister and I pulled a few all-nighters while my Mom was ending her journey. Despite our sad and broken hearts, we were able to hold onto each other and smile knowing she was not alone and was leaving with love around her. My sister and I have pulled through many things and being together, saying goodbye to our mother, confirmed we will always have each other.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have other people in my life during other hard times. I’ve had the wool pulled over my eyes. I’ve trusted and loved and was hurt so bad I did not know what to do or say or if I could even go on. By the grace of many people, I still remain injured, but I no longer am broken.

Not everyone is going to pull for me, of course. When I post an article without getting any comments or thumbs up, I get frustrated. Sometimes I cry. But when I get a grateful email, I know that posting my article was the right thing to do and that I’m helping another person just as I’ve been helped.

I’ve learned to help myself pull through as well. When I feel overwhelmed, I work out, take a walk, cook or bake, read a book or magazine, volunteer, make a phone call, write in my journal or blog. I especially love writing; it helps enormously to share the experience of both happy and painful times. I hope it helps others, too.

There are lessons and teachers among us; I’m learning every day. Life isn’t always going to go as wel planned, but we need to stay on the journey and not allow ourselves to be pulled down.
For now his car is pulling its own weight (he, by the way, is my husband). She (that’s me) will get the jury duty check and add it to the bank account.

We’ve been married for 34 years, and we’ve always, always pulled for each other.

Read more of Donna Ryan’s work on her blog, www.50plusstickingtogether.com.

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