Thursday, December 12, 2013

If You Pay Close Attention, Life Doesn't Suck.

Screenwriter Joss Wheden once said: "Very occasionally, if you pay really close attention, life doesn't suck.” 

Lately I've been trying pay close attention, and I'm having a hard time focusing.  At any given time I have about ten million things I'm working on. I am an excellent multi-tasker, but sometimes that leads me to be less attentive to certain projects. Running is an excellent way to help me focus and quiet my mind when there is so much running through it. Unfortunately the last few months even that hasn't helped me deal with the clutter racing through my brain.

Generally I love Christmas, and I'm easily in the Christmas spirit. This Christmas season, however, is a hard one.  I never imagined that we'd have another Christmas without a child, and it's been difficult to wrap my head around.  Despite the abundance of blessings we DO have I've been in a funk. Earlier this year around Mother's Day I wrote a blog that helped remind myself that we have so many things for which to be thankful. We're healthy, and we have wonderful family and friends. Our life without a child has been and continues to be a great adventure. Yet this Christmas I am a little heartbroken. And by a little I mean a lot.

A good friend continues to remind me that life is long, and in the scheme of it this wait is short. One day we will look back and forget the agony of waiting and only remember the joy of our family. My head knows she is absolutely right. It's taking my heart a little longer to catch up.

It takes a daily, conscious effort to be grateful. Some days are easier than others to push myself out of a feeling of thanklessness, and I have to force myself to focus on our life and appreciate the beauty it contains. It isn't always easy, but it is always worth it.

I originally wrote this blog a few weeks ago when I was in the midst of a giant pity party. Then I had a couple of things that smacked me in the face. When Nelson Mandela died I reflected on this amazing person who had dealt with unimaginable things in his life, and yet he had, by all accounts, a positive outlook on life. Then I thought about Alex Scott, the founder of Alex's Lemonade Stand. She was sick for most of her short life, and yet she was always looking at how she could make a difference in the life of others. Alex passed away nine years ago, and yet she and her family are still making a difference to so many people. 

This holiday season is about me working to be cognizant of the blessings of the season and to be inspired by those around me. That means appreciating the things I love - family, friends, my pets, running, and traveling. It turns out life really doesn't suck. 

Our photo from this year's Christmas card - so much to be thankful for.      

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