Since I began this blog in July of last year the goal has always been to find a way to be happier, live better, enjoy life, and find peace. At times it has been a struggle, a pleasure, or just a down right challenge trying to achieve these lofty goals. I suspect that at any moment in time there is a combination of all of these and a full life probably needs a balance of everything; let’s face it if things are always perfect you might not appreciate how wonderful you really have it.
I have a good friend who once told me that if I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. I wish he had been kidding, I wish he had been wrong. But alas, as life would have it he was more on the mark than he probably knew.
In the last 4 years or so I have had more than my share of craptastic events and situations I could have done without. But I kept on going, kept persevering, kept looking forward, kept planning and laying the groundwork for something better. I had to believe that if I kept making the right choices and kept my feet pointed in a positive direction that one day I would make it to the place where life felt good. Not perfect mind you, I don’t think that exists, but just content, simple, full, and peaceful. I wasn’t a survivor, a fighter or a quitter, I was just determined to keep living without a definition or a label. I was determined not to let events define me or control me.
Starting the blog and talking about the process, as well as reading and searching and scouring the world for inspiration was meant to be a constant reminder to myself that it could be done, needed to be done, and that I would one day succeed. I also had the selfish internal voice hoping it would lead to something better. A better job, a better opportunity, the ability to get published etc. Of course if it didn’t, the work would not be wasted, but if it did lead to better things than all the better. Inspiration was all around me, people doing what they loved, creating their own future, writing their own script. If I just surrounded myself with these folks, these reminders, I hoped I wouldn’t forget what I was looking for, that I could keep my eye on the prize and keep moving forward.
Well, when it rains it pours I suppose (unless you are in a drought in Colorado). Because lately I have found myself enjoying the fruits of my labor. Finding new paths and opportunities that instill happiness and peace in my heart. Some people might look at this good fortune and say “Man, she is lucky” but those who know me would more likely look at me and say “wow, look what happens when you put in the work and plan for the future”. Maybe putting good positive vibes out in the world IS a good thing, a thing that reaps rewards later. It just might be that you have to trust the process and keep going even when the going is determined to lay you flat on your back staring up into the abyss.
I think what I have learned, as all the cool offers and chances come pouring in, is that the reward of doing something can sometimes be so far off you can’t see or fathom what it might be until you get there, sometimes even years later (I’d say I have been laying the foundation since 2011 when we moved from Virginia). I can’t say I saw this coming, or knew where it would lead, what I can say is I continued with it because I felt sure it had to lead to something good. For me, for my family, or maybe just someone else. I figured eventually all this had to lead to something better.
So life is pretty good. I’ve filled it with new and old amazing friends. I have a new job that still lets me work from home but is far more creative and fun, and my family is more or less happy and healthy. I guess you could say that I have it all, even if it may be a fleeting moment; having it now means I know I can have it again if I just keep looking forward, living in the moment, believing in myself, practicing happiness and doing the right thing even when the reward is unforeseeable. And that is just the thing, the reward really is unforeseeable most of the time. It is not like being a kid in a candy store who sees the candy, wants the candy, pays for the candy and then gets to eat the candy. It isn’t like that at all.
When I set out on a long hike, especially a path I have never been before, I do not start the journey with the end in mind. I don’t envision myself coming full circle and ending up back at the car, I don’t even envision different points on the trail where I might stop to rest or take in a sight. I don’t think about what I will do when the hike is over. No, I start the hike just thinking about the journey, each step I will take, the ground beneath my feet, the wind in my hair, the sun on my neck. I start the journey thinking only of the start and the now. I start the journey watching my dog’s faces smiling as they take in the scents only the woods provide. I’m just glad to be there starting the trail. thankful for one more hike, not remembering when I was last on a trail, not planning when I will be on a trail again. I think it is a good metaphor for life.
You may not know where something will lead, what it will look like further down the road, or when you will need to stop and take breaks; but what you can depend on, what you can think about is the first step and the second and the beauty in the unknown and the journey you are about to take, the creatures you will share that journey with, and the unexpected moments that occur when you walk the path. The beautiful moments, the heat of the sun, the kiss of the breeze and before you know it you are back at the car feeling good, exhausted, accomplished, refreshed, and fulfilled. Because much like life, hiking rarely ends some place new. You almost always end up right back where you started only you are somehow better when you get there. Stronger. More peaceful. Muscles spent. Lungs full. Mind cleared. Smiling. And that is life. A life well spent.
What I am listening to: Walk the Moon Shiver Shiver
What I am reading: Paper Towns by John Green; recently named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people; this man is the epitome of doing your own thing. Talk about making your own path, not knowing where something will lead. I can only imagine he had no idea he would be where he is today when he started things so long ago. Impressed and amazed by his intellect, his humor, his caring.
Inspiration from the ether: leak proof water blob.
Now moment: Littlest man telling me “have patience mommy” echoing words I say to them daily. Reminding me you are never too old or too busy to be reminded about patience.
friends mixed Cds. seriously its like high school all over again
the end of the wind
long car rides
Harry Potter on disk
little bit of change in my pocket (literally and figuratively)
Calls out of the blue
slow dinners full of gluten
a good glass of red with new stories to hear
unexpected Cadbury eggs, after the season has ended
little boys first baseball uniforms
money in the bank
“rock me some more mommy”
“I will keep you forever”
panda bears in the ocean