This morning I read the article and watched an interview with the the mother daughter duo who survived the Boston Marathon Bombing. They held hands throughout the interview, and the mother was so positive (after losing her legs mind you) and thankful to be alive. She was not complaining and was smiling even when in tears. I cried like a little girl, something I seem to do a lot lately. As my kids reminds me everytime I say that, I am a girl 😉
It got me thinking about happiness. In our world today we are so focused on self and fulfilling our own needs but yet it seems to me that there is a dissatisfaction with life and a desire to find more. I understand that this is normal and even good in some ways, but I also see that this can cause such an introverted perspective that we forget how much we really have to be thankful for.
This last year has brought changes to my family. In August I closed my business, which I LOVED. Then in September, after many emergency calls from the school, doctors visits, and ER trips, my seven-year old was diagnosed with epilepsy. Even after that uncertainty, it doesn’t compare to the terror we felt when she overdosed after a prescription error and ended up in a hospital with wires and tubes everywhere. Since then she has undergone multiple MRI’s, EEG’s, EKG’s, and blood tests, some to monitor the epilepsy, and some to monitor for damage from the overdose. She has faced it with the sweetest, bravest face that has taught her momma a lot.
Now through all of this, a lifestyle change and income change and a health scare in the family, I have realized this has been a really happy year for me and my family. I have pondered all of this, trying to pinpoint why. What I came up with is the shift in perspective. You stop caring as much about inconsequential things when the things that are most important to you are threatened. I enjoy the little things so much more in life now, and I don’t have this dissatisfaction and focus on the things I don’t get to do. I used to really be bothered by wanting to travel, or go out more with friends, or to buy this or that. Suddenly, I’m excited for my kids to get home from school, the house is clean and we can go to the park. My husband and I play board games with our children, and my husband yells hysterically or laughs maniacally depending on if the game is in his favor, much to their delight. I have to admit this makes me love him just a little more.
I get this weird satisfaction from the mess that’s left after they go to school (I call it the before and after), because it means they were healthy and happy enough to make a mess. I have time to plan healthy meals, look for free events in our area, and learn new things while they are at school.
We have taken to calling the trips to the specialist Mommy/Daughter time, we stay in a hotel with a pool and swim and eat out and wander around stores, something we don’t normally get to do. This has changed what could be scary into something she looks forward to, with the doctors visits and tests just a small part of the trip rather than the focus.
I look back now and am thankful I closed my business because it gave me the room to be my daughters advocate, and to focus on giving her the environment and structure that she needs to lessen the chance of seizures. I have found joy in being a homemaker, and found joy in nurturing a peaceful environment for my family. My kids are only going to be in my care for a little while, and I will have lots of time, the rest of my life in fact, to do what I want to do. My life is much simpler without all the “must-have” but so, so much more satisfying now. I am good with that, I am focused on what is truly important, the life I have RIGHT NOW. So it’s not about how much money you have, or about how perfect everything is. True happiness comes from recognizing the blessing you have been given, and from making the most of your life, whatever that is for you.