Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Life Is Good
Happy New Year! Can you believe it's already 2013?
This year was filled with all sorts of awesome things and all kinds of difficult, challenging things, too. When I sat down to try and write our annual Christmas letter this year, the hard times kept pushing the good things out of the way and the task became overwhelming and emotional for me. I finally decided not to include a letter this time around.
I'm sure I don't need to point out that the greatest, most challenging and heart-wrenching thing I had to face was the unexpected death of my close friend, Jason. I've had to cope with the reality that he is no longer here every day since he left us. And I've learned that the best way for me to deal with it is to remember the best things about him and to allow myself to smile.
My oldest boy left on his 2 year mission for our church this year. I don't get to see him again until the summer of 2014 - and although I wouldn't give up what he is learning and doing and becoming in those two years, I am still his mother and I miss him. Talking to him on the phone Christmas morning was... well, just awesome. His voice, infused with his typical enthusiasm, brought a smile to my face and set the tone for the rest of the day.
I could go on, but that's not my point.
The reality is, life's not perfect. Not for anyone. However, I think that looking for the good and learning to smile through the tough times offers some great opportunities for personal growth. I love this quote by Jenkins Lloyd Jones:
"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. Most putts don't drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old-time rail journey — delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."
Politics, health, world events, all sorts of things have taken me on an emotional roller coaster this year. But when my emotions threaten to overtake me, I try to remember the good things that cause me to smile. Things like Allen the Younger's missionary service and the blessings that come to our family because of this. ElemenoB's immediate decision to serve a mission in January 2014 after a change in age requirements for missionaries was announced. Thumbelina's first date. All-a-Boy getting cast in the school musical. Cowgirl's ability to reach out to those in need. Princess' new-found love for skiing. Hubba's decision to be baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Curly's love for numbers and kindergarten. Little O's desire to spontaneously dance and sing at any given time. Baby X's sweet hugs and new words. Allen's beyond awesome place of employment. And as for me? I got to enjoy the ride of it all. Oh, yeah - I also saw NEWSIES. In NEW YORK. Both of which I loved in indescribable ways.
I'm not one who usually chooses a Word Of The Year or anything like that, but I think this year I am going to make a real effort to find the good in the world, in my community, in my life, in my circumstances. I want to seek out uplifting and positive things and remember all the reasons I have to be happy.
Every day I will find reasons to smile and remember that my life is pretty darn good.