I’ve been thinking back a lot to the times where my dad would come walking through my parents’ kitchen door, binder in hand, and excitedly tell me about potential new clients he met with that day and the endless possibilities. He’d say, “C’mon, let’s all go to dinner!” on a whim, and we’d pile in their car to fit us all and he’d drive us to our desired destination. He would give my little boy tractor rides every evening, and we would plant GIANT gardens together every spring. I reminisce about those times and think to myself, “Those were the days … “ – but EVEN. THEN. You wouldn’t BELIEVE the things I complained about. “I’m soooo tired….I wish I had more money….I don’t feel like doing (fill in the blank)…life would be SO MUCH BETTER IF ONLY (again, fill in the blank).” I was living in EUPHORIA then compared to now, and I was so caught up in the “if only’s” that I often failed to see all of my blessings surrounding me daily.
You see, since those few short years ago, my parents have had to move, and my dad has had 2 strokes that have taken his short term memory and his ability to drive. He no longer has his own business, and he no longer comes bounding through the door, telling me about those amazing meetings … and we no longer have the life-lesson conversations we used to have…. My little boy no longer gets those evening tractor rides. Now, my dad meagerly makes his way through the door, walking slowly and holding on to the doorframe for balance. He often just sits on the couch and quietly stares at the commotion around him (aka the now three kids – lol), and rarely truly engages with me anymore … don’t get me wrong – he tries … he asks me how my day is when I come in the door, and then 5 minutes later, will ask me again …. and 5 minutes later, again. All of this has prompted a complete life change and role reversal for my mom. SHE is now the primary caretaker … of him, of their finances, of their home, and she drives him to and from work everyday at a local grocery store. Every now and then, we catch glimpses of him as he plays with the kids or talks about his younger days … but for the most part, those “glory days” are well behind us. We are all trying to make it through a day and adjust day by day to this new “normal,” and never knowing if our “new normal” will change on a dime.
Which brings me to this thought: I will find what I’m looking for … meaning, if I’m looking for all of the negative, I will find it. I will spiral so far downward to the pit of despair and stress, reliving the days already past, lamenting the future that was stolen from me and from my family, that I could die in that pit. It is strength ZAPPING to barely exist in that life, and really, it’s not living at all. I was there. And, if I’m honest, that spiral can start (and sometimes does) on any given day, and I start to feel its effects in how I fail to live. My husband feels the effects, and my kids do too. So all of this brings me to the question – HOW DO I LIVE IN IT WHILE LIVING THROUGH IT?
Circumstances, in our spoiled minds, are never “ideal.” We always want more, never have enough, and always, ALWAYS wish things were different – even when life is good. A few years ago, life was good … but because of my selfishness, I failed to fully soak it in. I failed to live IN it … and now, life is different. Not ideal. Not awful – just different than what it was before, but I am DETERMINED to live IN it, while living THROUGH these circumstances. I am still blessed. I am still surrounded by goodness. I have a husband and 3 WONDERFUL kids who are all miracles; I love my job; my parents are still here and we are able to enjoy time with them; I have fantastic friends; we have a roof over our heads; we have TWO working cars (which hasn’t always been the case!); it’s summer; the sun is shining; I have a God Who loves me and Who is in control of ALL. THINGS. I will find what I am looking for … so I am trying my best to CHOOSE to look for the good….the blessings … because there are ALWAYS blessings. There is ALWAYS some good to be found. Are you living IN it while living THROUGH it? What circumstances are trying to steal your joy … steal your life? Look for the good. Look for the blessings … I PROMISE – YOU WILL FIND THEM.