Inside: Seasons come and go and I am continually called to stretch and grow and open up to the gifts of each amazing day of my beautiful, real life.
I wake up and immediately feel a wee bit grouchy about the crumbs on the counters and on the floor, the dishes multiplied in the sink like every day before. My daughter teases me as I make her a smoothie to send her off to work and I remember – this is my real life.
What I really want is to sit down with a coffee to write but I need to pay bills and do laundry and wash my water filter, long past when it ought to have been done. I notice tension rising and then I quickly remember – this is my full, beautiful life.
This week, I’ve comforted a sister and spent a fun day with a child and feel more than a little behind. There are stacks of amazing books waiting for me and posts I was supposed to write and it seems there is never quite enough time. But I remind myself that I get the same 24 hours as everyone else and I’m showing up the best I know how – to my simple, ordinary life.
A friend and I were a little grouchy with each other and I know what we need is some time to laugh together but we live far apart and have our own obligations. Instead of worrying or isolating I reach out again so we can plan time to talk and a mini adventure. And I remind myself – this is a messy part of my fabulous life.
I’ve barely walked this week because my leg hurt too much and I notice how despite my amazing plans life is always the boss, and I am called over and over to a place of surrender. I loosen my grip and take a deep breath, gratitude fills this humble space. And I remember – this is my real life.
I am happy for the freedom of this new stage of life – no more cranky toddlers or sleepless nights. But I miss the playdough and cuddles and stories on the couch and realize life will never be the same. Every stage that comes and goes is an amazing gift in season and I want to stay awake to it all – every bit of my amazingly beautiful life.
He and I have changed and we’re growing old together – this summer will mark 24 years of our crazy adventure. We are definitely different in a multitude of ways yet our shared values undergird it all and keep us stable and there is no one else I want to walk with – through this imperfect and beautiful life.
I don’t prove my worth by being productive; I have permission to rest and put my feet up and I’m allowed to simply take up space. I want to contribute and offer my gifts but I opt out of rushing or joining the race. I breathe and exhale and remind myself – I can choose a slow and simple life.
I vision and plan and work toward my goals but there is nothing I need to be happier than I am and if I died today I would be content. I choose to live awake each day, embrace imperfection, scan for beauty, and loosen my grip on what I think life should be so that I can show up fully to this – my real life.
I used to think I was smart but the wiser I become I see that all I’ve truly learned is how much I don’t know. But I stay open and curious, I’m less afraid now, and I wonder what wisdom each season will bring. In the summer I bear fruit and in the winter put down roots and it all works together – to build a beautiful life.
Wrestling and struggle have always walked beside me but the struggle is only a small part of my story. My 40’s have been an amazing call to growth and mostly what I see now is how far I have come. I’ve tasted sorrow and loss but joy and pleasure too and I choose to just be present to each step of the journey. And I remember – this is my beautiful, real life.
NOW WHAT? Happiness and pain or struggle are not at war with each other. They can coexist in a full, beautiful, imperfect life. Explore more with this resource page I made for my community on The How of Happiness.