Sunday, May 16, 2010
We Deserve To Be Happy. It May Be the Only Thing That Is Certain.
"A person will be just about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) Politician. President of the United States.
I think that about sums it up, how I feel right now. I could just repeat that quote and finish the blog right now, or I could write about why I feel this way and how I came to understand knowing this quote is right on the money.
Mike and I are in a quandary. With no real information to go on except what is on paper and in theory, much of it ambiguous and obtuse, we are being forced to make decisions we are not comfortable with. We are a frugal, pragmatic couple, with little time to lay in the grass and daydream about all the wonderful things that could possibly happen. With three kids in college and one graduating form high school this month, we are busy trying to decide what to do with what is happening. Our current day to day existence doesn't allow for much dreaming, or at least it wouldn't if we were a different couple. As much as we are realists, we are also dreamers. What tiny snippets of time we do have for dreaming, we take and run with. I think it's mandatory to dream. Dreaming allows for the possibility of hope and miracles, unseen and unknown.
We planned to sell our house last year and then proceeded to do the work necessary for that to happen. It hasn't been easy, rewarding, yes, but easy, no. We wrote our list of all the things we were going to do to help insure we would meet our goal. I am an "I" dotter and a "T" crosser. Having worked the bulk of my adult life as a nurse, my habits are strict discipline, organization, detailed planning and careful execution. My patients lives depended on my ability to "see" the future and count all the "what ifs". The days where I got blindsided by unexpected illness or the dreaded falls, causing serious injury, could not be planned for and momentarily threw me off balance. Those were the days when I would leave my job hours after my shift should have ended, feeling as though nothing I did mattered anyway. One can never truly plan for the unexpected. Stuff just happens without explanation or apology , that we just have to deal with, regardless of how unfair it all seems.
Mike's job is changing. After twenty-six years of loyalty to one company, things are changing that are beyond his scope of planning or expectation. There is nothing seemingly, fair about what is happening. It just is what it is. What happens next, we have no idea. We know nothing for sure right now. After months, no strike that, years, of careful living, planning, squirreling away our little nuts, we find ourselves in the precarious position of being homeless in a few weeks and not knowing where to go or how to get there. It is the way of our current economy and the lives of the middle class. It feels oppressive at times, trying to make decisions about our lives when so many things are unknown. This would be the perfect time to feel sorry for ourselves, when looking ahead at the road stretched out before us, with no concrete ground to walk on. It would not be unreasonable to be angry, fighting back tears because a company has taken the task of determining our worth. These are all just feelings that can swallow us up whole and leave us for dead, if we are not careful.
What we have actively decided to do, is to be happy everyday for what we have right now. The future will happen, regardless of how much we think about it, plan for it, or commit to worry. The decisions we face are huge and effect our entire family. Our four kids are to be home this summer for the first time in four years. This wonderful thing is happening st the exact time we do not know where we will live or if there will be room for everyone. This situation is the very definition of irony. Panic about this would not be unreasonable, however it would be wasteful and if you know anything about me at all, know this, I hate waste. I do not like wasted anything, be it time, energy, food or things. Waste drives me absolutely bonkers.
Mike and I have made the active decision to be in the now, living and thinking about life in the moment and not spin our wheels thinking about what all can happen. It's easy to be fatalistic about the future when things are presented in darkness. It takes time, attention and focus to live happy for what you have right this minute. it takes effort to get up everyday and say, "Today I will be happy and grateful for everything good in my life right now."
Things will work out far better than anything we can plan or any scenario we can cook up in our limited imaginations. We have watched our prayers be answered with big giant "yes"s coming straight from heaven. We asked for many things in the last year and all our dreams came true. This is no small matter, to have such wonderful things laid at your feet. I can't tell you how many times in the last weeks I have been completely awestruck, gobsmacked at how things fell into place. I have been continuously watching things unfold in a manner that leaves me breathless. I do see where some would say, "this is a logical explanation to all the work you have done to get ready." But, as logical as this all may be, there is something very ethereal about how it is all playing out. There are bigger forces at work right now for us. God is dreaming bigger for us than we ever could for ourselves. I have written before that good luck is merely preparation meeting opportunity. I didn't make that up, that is as old as time itself. I believe this is the time for Mike and to be the boy scouts and be prepared for any and all opportunities that are headed our way. I believe in signs and when I am watchful, I am given glimpses of what could be, and my only job is to be ready for when the opportunities come. I have been witness to things I have never seen before. I have stayed aware, eyes wide open to catch the tiniest sights that will show us which direction to go. I remain grateful for everything big and small we have been given. I went to bed last night praying for strength of mind, body and soul, as Mike and me prepare to be ready for anything. I prayed that my life and the lives of my family reflect hope and help and that we remain humble, grateful and respectful. I prayed that whatever opportunity we are afforded, we endeavor to deserve it. I repeatedly said "thank you" for all the wonderful things in our lives and the sheer will and ability to be more.
I woke up this morning facing the inevitable "Y" in the road to be either consumed by all the questions, or happy knowing things will really work out the way they are supposed to. Coffee and sympathy don't really work well together, so I chose happy. Every moment of everyday I am working to choose happy. I have seen my my face unhappy and all that accomplishes is, it makes my hound like jowls more pronounced. I feel confident about choosing happy, because when I look at Mike, I can't imagine anyone who deserves it more.