As usual this holiday has inspired me to reflect on my experiences, my relationships, my health and my overall life perspectives. I like to start with the shortest time frame, the closest things, and build out from there. Generally this approach ensures I end on a positive note. Maybe it’s the distance or the time that’s passed that allows me more of an open-minded outlook and more permission to view the older, wider scope stuff as positives. That’s neither here nor there I guess so here we go…
Starting with the near and dear, this year feels like it’s been a rough one. If nothing else, it’s been a change packed one and we all know how I do with change! Growing pains indeed!!! I moved my home; lost a dear friend; changed jobs; welcomed my new nephew home J; had neck surgery; and got some life-changing news about my mom. Those were the doozies. Sprinkled through were the little things: I celebrated three years sober; I got to hear stories from some awesome women and be inspired by their strength again and again; I went camping with my husband, then with friends, then with more family; I giggled a lot with too many friends and family to count; I enjoyed the ups and downs of my high school divers and celebrated their new skills; Notre Dame is #1 and going for the National Championships in a couple short weeks, and I was there with my dad, bro and husband to watch them beat USC; I wore a crown on my birthday on a hiking trail; I reacquainted with friends of old; I was able to clean up a little more of the wreckage of my past and continue to feel more and more at peace with others; I got to enjoy a rad cousin day; I heard just last week my brother has delivered three babies (WHAT!!!??? He’s really going to be a doctor!); I called my mom and sister almost every weekday morning and heard them and the kiddos in all their morning glory. I could keep going but suffice it to say life is happening and the coolest part is I’ve been there to experience it!
If I take a walk away from all that and turn around to see the bigger, broader view, I’m just in complete and total awe at the gifts and love that seem to have been poured straight down on my head in the past year or 4 or 33. I see how lucky and blessed I am. Certainly in light of all the traumas and hardships that are happening around the world, my ‘changes’ seem luxurious and inspired. My heart aches for those in pain, experiencing injustice and stricken with loss. I want to fix the wrongs and the hurts and the grief, but of course I can’t. It makes me wonder how I got so lucky. I used to ask God why a lot. “Why me God? Why is it so hard God? Why can’t it be different God? Why can’t I just quit God?” I had to stop asking why in order to allow myself to just live and do the next right thing. So now as I’m asking “How did I get so lucky God?” it occurs to me that I just don’t get to know the why’s and how’s of life. I’m discovering that it’s in the not knowing that I’m enabled to live in today and simply do the next indicated thing. Truth is I can’t know when someone will need my help or even if I'll be able to help them when they do, but so long as I show up and remain present, you bet your butt I’ll be there when life happens.
All the love during this holiday season and happy reflections to you!!!