Last week as I unpacked from a trip to Phoenix to visit relatives, worked a couple days, and then repacked for a weekend in SD with a couple of my girlfriends all I wanted to do was stay home. I was tired, and emotionally drained, and our house looked like it had been hit by a tornado, and I had long lists of things to do, and the usual eating out and drinking didn’t sound so good in terms of my current diet. It just felt like a lot of work and I did. Not. Have. It. In. Me.
But I didn’t feel like I could skip it. As the week wore on, I started to get a little excited, and by Friday I probably would have run there had I’d been forced to. I spent 48 hours away from home. We went out to dinner, danced in townie bars, sat by a lake for hours, took a girls trip to Target (when do you get to do that?!), did dinner again, went for ice cream, and then sat by a bonfire. And it was lovely. And I felt so relaxed. Just look at me…no cares in the world and feeling like life couldn’t get any better.
Actually that’s not true…I was pretty sure the guy in this camper was keeping dead people in coolers inside and that I’d surely be next. I’ve seen that episode of Criminal Minds, thank you very much, and I was not about to fall prey to his scheme.
I returned home late yesterday afternoon and it took one day back at work to feel stressed, overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and a little stuck all over again. How did the relaxation, so evident on my face above, disappear so quickly?! Well…I know how. But the better question is how do I get over it?
In addition to the normal things that go on in a typical work day, I was inundated with sad news today. News of friends or relatives of friends who are ill, sad news in the papers, and the regular updates from my relatives. My husband emailed me with sad news and wondered why things like this had to happen. I responded quickly, without thinking, and told him there are always reasons that we will never know. And that we need to embrace the fact that we have the ability to live full and good lives and that we owe it to those who don’t to do just that. I’m so smart. Problem solved, right?
Not so much. As the day progressed I didn’t focus on things that make me happy, I didn’t embrace my good friends and tell them how I feel about them, I didn’t do anything to really live well…I instead got crabbier and crabbier. And why not? My problems are big ones. In my mind at least.
But they aren’t. For the most part the challenges my husband and I are facing are good ones. Good problems to have. And yes, there are uncertainties to navigate, and taxes to pay, and other parents to deal with, and house remodling to tackle, and large life choices to ponder, but we are both (knocking furiously on the wood pole that’s standing up next to my desk…and suddenly wondering why we have a wood pole in my office?) healthy and for the most part happy.
We can’t say that for everyone we know.
It’s time to refocus on the good stuff. The blessings. It’s so easy to get bogged down with the crap but truly there is so much to be thankful for. We have the ability, the health, and the means to live a great life. It’s really time to start doing so. In honor of those who aren’t as lucky.
TODAY: What if we take advantage of the fact that we’re healthy and happy and live our lives to the fullest? What if we refocus our attention on all of the good stuff? What if that helps move us past the things about which we aren’t so happy?