A friend asked how I was doing because my recent posts felt ‘stressed.’ Although I normally associate the word with work and/or general franticness, looking back on the posts and pictures from this past year, I suppose it’s not a bad descriptor.
I responded that while I was not feeling too stressed, I was feeling more contemplative.
This winter, I have found more quiet time, mostly on the weekends, than I’ve had in years (if ever). It has given me time to get things done, true. But it has also given me time to think.
To reflect not just on the days gone by, but also on the few years we have left as our kids prepare to leave the nest. To consider the challenges other children and families are facing and how, in an instant, we could be in the same place, facing the same challenges. To contemplate our privilege and how through a twist of fate our lives could be radically different.
To remember how easy it is to focus on the negative and dismiss the positive.
The term “what’s good?” kept jumping into my head as I considered writing a post about, well, what is good about life today. Checking the term on Urban Dictionary – because I’m a mid-40’s Gen X’er and that’s what you do to make sure you understand the context of your words – I was struck that the term was more “how’s it going” and even a challenge, rather than just a new take on “Life is Good.”
I know. I’m so unhip I think something might break if I twist the wrong way.
Where was I? Oh, right. My fading relevancy aside, the fact is – life is good.
**insert sound of frantic knocking on wood**
We have our health, and we have started to find time to invest in that health (although right now I have a cold and that kind of stinks). We also are finding space for new adventures, old hobbies and other things that may have been pushed aside by young parenthood.
Our kids are growing into responsible, intelligent, empathetic individuals full of dreams and creativity, set to build lives I hope we will continue to be a part of, even as they leave us behind.
We have an expanding community of friends and neighbors, that we may not see as often as we’d like, would be there for us when needed.
We have our careers, which challenge, reward and allow us to support our family and many of the things we want to do together.
And, finally, we have each other. Our marriage certainly isn’t perfect, but he is the first person I want to talk to when something goes well. Or badly. Or when nothing has happened at all. And the person I’m looking forward to planning many adventures with after our kids have left us behind.
Once upon a time, a podcast listener left a review describing me as “blissfully unaware of most things.”
Today I’m more aware, less blissful and incredibly fortunate.