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I’ve spent the past few years plodding along, but not really going anywhere.  Certainly, the past few years have been filled with loss and change.  Life changes our plans, and sometimes our plans change our lives.  Sometimes we can control the changes in our lives.  Other times, the changes take control and pull us along with or without our consent.  I have learned something important, though.  Most days are there for the taking.  Most days at least have the potential to be a GOOD DAY.   What happens, though? Well, I certainly can’t speak for anyone else, but I know what my problem has been.  Instead of treating each day as a gift full of potential, I have continued pedaling along on a course that goes nowhere.  Too often, I have looked back at days that are in the past, agonized over things beyond my control,  and wasted the potential of each fresh, new day.  It’s time to get off of the hamster wheel.

Life is short.  The moments we are able to spend with those we love, moments without loss, times when we are well-fed, warm, and secure should not be wasted with the selfish drivel of thinking, “Is this it? Is this enough?”  If where you are in your life is not making you happy, the first place to look is in the mirror.  YOU, my friend, are the key to your own happiness.  You are in the driver’s seat, no one else.

I know all too well, that sometimes life puts curves and bumps in the road.  Deal with it!  Accept, accept, accept.  Life is not fair.  Deal with it.  Tomorrow is another day, another chance, another gift.

Today is my birthday.  I have thought a lot about both of my parents today.  This is my first year on this Earth celebrating a birthday without parents.  When I realized that this morning, I was a little awestruck.  How did the years speed by so quickly?  How can they possibly be gone already?  Today, I missed them, but I did not cry.  I smiled, because of the memories I have of other birthdays spent together.  I smiled, because three of my kids are home and spent the entire day hanging out with me.  I smiled, because the sun came out for a few moments for the first time in days.

I haven’t worked in almost two weeks, and it has been great.  I have spent time with family, done a ton of cleaning and cooking, lots of movie-watching, and plenty of eating and drinking.  Oh, and I’m teaching myself to knit.  I haven’t had a lot of sleep, yet I feel rested and relaxed.  Something has stirred inside of me that I am almost afraid to acknowledge.  I think that the feeling might be called optimism, and I realized that this feeling of optimism scares me to death.

I have spent way too long crouched down with my hands over my head waiting for the next shoe to drop.  I have waited for things to go wrong, to be hurt by something, to lose again.  Oh, and I know new versions of these things I fear will certainly happen once again.  Every one of our days cannot be filled with sunshine, vacation days, family, and birthday cake.  Bad things happen.  Loss happens.  People will disappoint and hurt us, but I am tired of wasting my time fearfully waiting for the next bad thing to rear its ugly head.

Enough of that.  I’ve decided to keep working on the optimism.


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