Monday, April 29, 2013

Learning To Love My Life

I often find myself thinking that I am in a "transitional" phase in my life. I remember telling myself in the three months after Dan died when I was not yet back to work that, "This time will pass. Life will start again eventually." And I have told myself that numerous times in the past few years; especially as I was laying on the couch recovering from my life saving surgery. And here I am yet again, telling myself that exact same thing; "Relax. This is just a transition. Life will start again soon." Well, boy was I wrong.

I have wasted so much time in the past few years waiting for my life to start. When in fact, I am living the life that God intended me to be living RIGHT NOW. Pastor mentioned something at church on Sunday that really hit home. I don't remember what he said verbatim, but the general message was, "Don't spend so much time waiting for your life to start, that you miss an opportunity to live in the present." Amen to that. That message spoke to me in such a huge way. I may not have the Husband, children, Master's degree and career that I planned on having at this particular stage in my life, but I have so much LIFE going on in different ways. I have a handful of friends that mean the world to me. I have a family that supports me and loves me every minute of every day. I have nieces and nephews that make me smile. I have a home that I love and enjoy returning to every single day. These things seem so mundane on a daily basis; perhaps because I take them for granted. But they are my LIFE.

I realize that even in those three months after Dan died, and the months that followed, I was making memories. I was LIVING. I got tattoos that mean so much to me. That was me, LIVING. I went on a trip to New York and had an amazing time. In fact, one of the memories that I remember most is sitting in an Applebees drinking, laughing and people watching. It seems so ordinary, but was one of my favorite nights. That was me, LIVING. When I was recovering from surgery, snuggling with Gracin was something that really helped me keep things in perspective and to continue fighting. Again... me, LIVING. And now, as I plan Dan's third annual golf tournament and plan for two vacations, I am LIVING. I am not happy every single day, but as corny as it sounds, I try to find a bit of happiness in every single day. And I do. And those moments may just be a laugh between friends, or an afternoon in the sun, but to me, they are significant.

I have to remember that just because my life isn't where I want it to be, or planned on it being at this point in time, that's okay. This is still my life. I have joy. I have laughter. I have passion. And I have a faith, that is never perfect, but it has gotten me through some of the hardest times of my life. So, from this point on, I refuse to think of any part of my life as "transitional." Every success, struggle, memory, bad day, lazy day... it all makes for one hell of a life.

All these "transitional times" have changed me. Life has changed me. So when I think back as to who I was a few years ago and wish I could go back to that "happy" time, I kick myself. I may be wounded, jaded, and have a self-esteem that varies from day to day, but this is me. Love me, or leave me. Those that are in my life are here for a reason.

This may all seem a bit corny and redundant, but it is what I am feeling at this very moment. So my advice to all you who read this? Embrace your life. We do not get a do-over. This is it. Do not focus on the negative things going on in your life. Find a bit of happiness in every single day, and do things to make others smile. I try my best to love on those around me. If that is all I do in this life, I will consider it a success!