March 30, 2014

life is like that.

Sometimes Max doesn't get home from school until eleven and I tell him I feel like a widow. Sometimes the idea of eight more years of school sounds impossible. Sometimes my routine feels a little bit mundane and predictable. Sometimes (read: all the time) our conversations center around where to invest our money, instead of spending it on one of my many $$$ dream vacations. Sometimes I don't want to wake up at seven AM Monday through Friday. Sometimes I would rather go on a crazy shopping spree instead of not. Sometimes Friday night dates are spent watching Friday Night Lights on my computer while Max sits next to me and has to study instead. Sometimes people aren't always nice. Sometimes I say something I regret. Sometimes (also read: all the time) I wish McDonalds delivered. And sometimes life is what is it: a lot of hard work, patience and occasionally a few tears at the end of the day.

Those "sometimes days" are a part of life for everyone, and some of my favorite conversations (and posts) are the ones you can honestly relate to and even share with others what life really is like: both ups and downs. And as I was talking to a few of my friends about these things the other night, I also thought about the quote I had posted the other day. I actually read it for the first time a few months ago, but have often thought about it since. It reminded me of what I've also talked about online before -- my blessings book.

I started that book back up again this year, after taking a little bit of an unintentional hiatus last year, (in other words, I had become a major slacker and failed to prioritize something that has always been really, really important to me). I knew I needed to change that. So I did. Every night this year I have written something down that I am grateful for. Sometimes I will even pass the book over to Max and will ask him write something down too. Without trying to sound cliché, honestly, the difference it has made already is like comparing night to day.

I know plenty of other people have said it before, but counting your blessings and then expressing that appreciation to a friend, a stranger, even in your journal, and especially to your Heavenly Father can change everything. It does change everything. It's okay (and important) to be honest about your life. It's okay to openly admit to yourself or to others that it can get hard. Or that it is hard. Last year in particular had its share of difficulties for me, all for many different reasons, (and it's also okay to leave those parts of your life offline and share it with people rather than the internet :) But I also think it's equally important to focus on all of the good around us too. There will always be bad days or bad jobs or other real or more serious problems that we'll have to go through in this life. But those bad days aren't ever so bad that I can't count at least one thing I am grateful for. Because there will always be something to be grateful for. And in the end, what matters the most is "which garden you choose to tend."

"Life is like that—ups and downs, a bump on the head, and a crack on the shins. It was ever thus. Hamlet went about crying, “To be or not to be,” but that didn’t solve any of his problems. There is something of a tendency among us to think that everything must be lovely and rosy and beautiful without realizing that even adversity has some sweet uses. One of my favorite newspaper columnists is Jenkin Lloyd Jones. In a recent article published in the News, he commented:

... Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just ordinary people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise.

Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed... 

The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."
-President Gordon B. Hinckley
(you can read the rest of his talk here)

5 comments:

Jane Harman said...

this was exactly what i needed to hear today!

p.s. - started watching friday night lights a few days ago and i am loving it.

also, call me one night when you're bored at home and we can hang out!!!

Mary said...

Beautiful post. Honestly, that's the biggest reason I blog. It keeps me focused on the good stuff. I'm not intentionally showing off or trying to make it look like my life is perfect...of course it's not...I'm just trying to stay positive and count my blessings. It's a beautiful thing.

kylie said...

this is beautiful post and just something i needed to read today. thank you!

Kelsie Bingham said...

@jane - don't you love friday night lights?? texas forever!! haha and YES CAN WE PLEASE PLAY?

Susie Q said...

I needed to hear this today, Kelsie. thanks for posting, and being who you are. I miss you, girl!