I’ve been making strides on a home project after months of feeling stuck. I knew that I wanted a change but I didn’t know how to execute it. I looked up in Pinterest for inspiration and still felt lost. One day I decided to replace one piece of furniture that I knew was out of place, and the rest of the ideas just kept flowing.
A house is an eternal project. Something always needs fixed or updated or cleaned up. There are many moments when it can look amazing in its current status, but there is always room for improvement. In these last few weeks, I’ve been understanding that life is the same way. There are great moments, good moments, bad moments, and terrible moments. It all comes together in the same package, and to live and breathe is to have to handle it all.
We work and struggle to get to the next level, where “things will be better.” We toy with the thought that once we get to that place, all will be well. Then we arrive and with the new joy comes a different set of problems and expectations. The ongoing cycle can be so frustrating and exhausting. Will the work and strife ever stop? Will we be able to put our feet up without fear of bad news coming through our door? Not in this earth.
Life is a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.Forrest Gump
The box is assorted and full of surprises. Only those with the privilege of being alive get to experience what’s in it. It makes me think that we need to not pray for a perfect life, but for strength and faith to live as rightfully as possible. The work and strife is part of life, together with the joy and happiness we get to participate in. They go hand in hand because this isn’t a magical place or better yet, heaven.
What can we do to handle the bitter in our days? First, let’s be grateful for the sweet. Thankfulness brings perspective that can clear dark clouds. Then, let’s recognize our limits and weaknesses. A very, very simple example is the grumpiness that can come from not having eaten. I recently heard as advice in a bridal shower, “Don’t fight until you’ve eaten.” Think of having skipped lunch because you had a deadline at work or were so busy running errands. You get a text from a family member asking for help with something you have already helped with multiple times. You are just ready to give them a piece of your mind because you have had it. This just leads into an exchange of words that leaves both of you hurt and annoyed. If you would have had a chance to grab a bite and a few minutes to breathe, you would have felt somewhat refreshed and would have been able to answer the question calmly.
The world will continue going round and round. All we can do is hold on, and when it gets really heavy, attempt to softly put down some of our load. I recognize that I cannot do it on my own, so I ask God to help me get through it. I look at my day and remove things that aren’t necessary. I find a moment where I am not doing anything for anyone and do something by and/or for myself. I let my family know that I need space. If I can, I take a day or multiple days off to remove myself from the routine. Being open with myself and those around me empowers me to take a few breaths that give me enough energy to keep going.
The house is in constant remodel and we have to learn to dance to the rhythm of change. The day we are done is the day we aren’t here anymore. Instead of hoping for perfection, let’s hope for courage. Let’s hope for great things and plan as we can for when the skinny cows arrive.