Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Reality Check

The other day it occurred to me that it was time to let go of this year. It should not be that difficult because I really did not like it that much anyway, but for some reason, I have been holding on tight to the long list of grievances I had incurred over the course of this past year, as if I could wave this list in someone's face and say: 
"But, look! I have been through all this. Isn't that enough? Please. I need a rest".

No matter how many times I go over this list in my head, no one has shown up yet to wave their magic wand and usher me into the land of Happily Ever After, that magical plateau in life we all reach after enduring a particularly challenging time, where we can rest for a bit and enjoy the sunrises before Life throws yet another obstacle in our way. 

WHAT?! You mean, that is not how life works? There is no such place . . . are you kidding me?!

 Yep, that is not how life works. We are never guaranteed a break. Sure, Zoe was sicker than she had ever been before; sure, I had two babies under two and two teenage boys pumped full of testosterone and the stupids to deal with day after day; sure, my hubby worked far, far away while all of this was going on, and sure, I packed up our entire house all by myself in preparation for a move far, far away only to learn that . . . SURPRISE! That awesome job we were moving our entire family up north for no longer exists.


So, not only did I not reach any plateau, or a place where I could take just a moment to breathe and recover after, by far, the most challenging year of my life, but without a job, it now feels like the entire mountain I have been climbing just unleashed one nasty avalanche and I have been buried under three feet of snow without a shovel or a dogsled team on its way.

Yes, please feel free to roll your eyes now. I am well-aware that I am ridiculously over-dramatic and whiny. Go ahead! I feel your pain. You should just stop reading right now.

No matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to muster enough energy to face this battle with a smile and my usual pep to kick it in the derriere. I am tired. I don't have enough patience or strength to do this right now, and that is frustrating me. I feel beaten.

Then, something happened the other day. Instead of beating myself up for not being able to handle yet another obstacle, I started to acknowledge that yeah, I am not patient enough to handle all of this, and I am not strong enough to fight this right now. Then, I started taking stock of everything in my life and realized that I don't have enough love in my heart for all of my children and my husband right now. I am not smart enough to raise these kids in a world that I do not even understand. I am not kind enough to care for the people I know and love. I am not energetic enough to complete all that I have to do in a day, and I definitely do not have enough money to do what I need to do.

But here's the shocker . . . I have never had enough of any of these things, and I am guessing neither have you. And yet, day after day, I manage to get by. I manage to care for my family and my friends. I manage to put food on the table, get the laundry done, wash the dishes and still have time to read a bedtime story or two. Despite all of my inadequacies, my children are alive. They are happy and yes, for the first time in four years, I can honestly say they are all healthy! So, how do any of us manage to accomplish anything in our day, let alone our lives? We have a kind and merciful Heavenly Father, who loves us and looks after us, and He just happens to have enough of everything to help us.

Yes, I went all spiritual on you again. Feel free to roll your eyes a second time. I did warn you not too long ago to stop reading.

We try our hardest day after day and inevitably fall short, but He is there to make up the difference. He is how I survived this past year, and He is how I am going to face this next setback with my usual smile and optimism. I may not have enough time, money, energy, patience, love or strength to do this all on my own, but I have enough faith, and thankfully, that is all I need.

So, instead of fretting or complaining or whining that life is being completely unfair, I am going to let go of this downright nasty year and move forward with a lighter heart and a smile on my face because with Mr. Level-Headed home to shoulder some of the responsibilities that go along with running a household of seven, I can finally get back to the important stuff like playing in puddles and building bridges and dams.

  My life is far from easy, and it is definitely not perfect, but I am going to love it nonetheless.