Frustration VS Acceptance


Frustration VS Acceptance

This is probably one of those blogs I should write then delete. Let’s see how it turns out.

I am deaf. Well not totally deaf, but my hearing loss is in the exact frequency of speech. I can hear the plane overhead, or the car in the street, but I can’t understand you when you talk to me. Hearing aids help a lot and when I wear them, I can get by in most situations. Fair enough.

It can be frustrating to me, and frankly to people talking to me, when I simply can’t understand and ask them to repeat themselves, sometimes over and over. Oftentimes Robyn is tempted to throw something at me. The frustration level reached a point that sometimes I say “I understand” when I don’t, simply to get past the moment and move on. You can imagine just how dangerous that can be. It’s not just eating something you hate for dinner, it can be much more problematic.

The frustration is that I forget sometimes just how bad my hearing is. I think I can live my life just as everyone else. Frankly, I can’t.

Consider getting old. A man has been the breadwinner and the ‘muscle’ in his family all his life. He is the one to fix things, to drive the car, the one who makes his family safe. Now, in his later years, he can do none of those things. A branch falls on the roof. He can’t simply climb the latter (he can’t lift the ladder) to pull it off. His daughter comes over to do it. The father bursts into tears in frustration. A simple task. He can’t do it. He knows the light at the end of the tunnel is a train coming straight at him.

My mother was one of the wisest people I have ever met. She faced adversity head on and simply never gave up. When the time came to place her in “the home.” She wasn’t happy. She fought it tooth and nail. When she had been there a week, she asked me “I’m not going home, am I?” I said the hardest words I have ever spoken: “No, mom, you are not.” She nodded her head and patted my hand. She accepted what must be. Her initial frustration was replaced with acceptance. She spent her last months happily disrupting the folks around her. And loving it.

Don’t get me wrong. There are things you can change and certainly things you don’t need to simply accept. But there are things a ninety year old cannot change. Or a deaf person cannot fix. There comes a time to accept what’s what.

The Father above who broke into tears because he couldn’t do a simple task, didn’t realize that his frustration was also affecting those around him. There was little they could do to help him, and his frustration became theirs.

My gift to you this holiday season is to temper my frustration with my faulty ears and to simply ask you to slowly repeat things I don’t hear. Hopefully not too often.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

2 Responses

  1. Thank you John. That is why I so appreciate you and respect you. You rock. Reflection is hard. Knowing our pluses and minuses is hard. Everything in life is hard but so blissful thus. Thus, as after being hard. The easy often is not that memorable. Teddy Roosevelt when he talks about the man in the arena talks about this. There is no buts here. And to the question is it a blessing or a lesson, I answer both. Sharon Stone (yes, Hollywood here) after she had a stroke in 2001 said that after it, she truly learned to listen more. Because it took the effort to hear, to make sense. So to me, based on your blog, yes, getting old is a biatch, yet, I adjust and subsequently, get more blessings. As I taste the rose for the first time. And no, no dog ate my homework. No one made me mad. No one got into a car accident. Life is about S**** happens and I am taking three breaths to respond, and to react. thank you John for not being another poor me. Thank you for being my hero. Sincerely, your stuff member, Astrid

  2. Astrid:
    You ‘turn my head.’ I am certainly no hero, and wish only to be accepted as I am, warts and all. I have my poor me moments, just like everyone else. The trick is to let them go, no matter how difficult that seems. Thanks for the kind words, now get back to work.

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