Sitting across from my friend, my eyes were irretrievably fixated on the tiny lines etched around the circumference of her face. In a few short years she had aged immeasurably. Every New Year’s Eve we reason, things can’t possible get any worse than the previous year, but in hindsight it seemed that once again we were wrong.
With each passing decade, I believe life gets in the way exponentially especially for mothers. Depending upon the number of people in your family or the number of connections you have I’ve often describe it as five to the tenth power. Interrelationships, although a tremendous blessing, can be a source of angst, if and when life brings sudden storms onto the horizon.
I’ve often wondered why some families seem to bear a disproportional share of illness, death or just old fashioned rotten luck. Is it the result of a generational curse, although I doubt that, poor planning, the failure to seek timely medical care, denial or just dumb luck? In all likelihood it is probably a combination of all of the above.
Blessings come in all forms. Waking up is a blessing; that cup of coffee with just the right amount of cream is sheer perfection and yes, a blessing; lying in bed as the raindrops play their synchronized harmonies overhead stimulating indescribable endorphins throughout my body is a blessing; listening to the raucous laughter of young children spending hours upon hours playing outside bringing utter joy to my spirit is a blessing; sitting quietly on a blanket at the beach watching the seagulls spread their wings is a blessing; the summer breeze cascading across heat soaked skin is delicious and yes, it is a blessing.
Blessings come in many forms and the hardest part is the ability to recognize and appreciate the myriad forms they may take. The myopia of waiting for that big win, the huge promotion at work or that fabulous vacation you’ll be able to take one day will in all probability derail you from recognizing the everyday blessings that await you. The joy and contentment of being engaged in your everyday life will enable you to soar to unimaginable heights as positive energies propel you forward.
Stuff happens to everyone, and yes stuff happens to some more than others. We can’t control the stuff but we can control our reaction to it. Whether we react with despair or optimism is a choice. Whatever challenges life brings we have to face it and go through it in order to get to the other side. There are no easy shortcuts.
As I continue to encounter things that I still have a hard time understanding the “why” of it, I’ve been steadfast in my resolve to come from a place of appreciation, optimism and gratitude. Recognizing the blessings that surround us every day is the ultimate blessing.