being genuine + being positive

9:43 AM

It ain't easy folks. I've always struggled walking this line. I'm a perpetual optimist to a fault and I will help you look for that silver lining till your feet are tired and you're just about cursing me but by golly we'll find it! Unless it's nowhere to be found, at which point I usually resort to one of three options: a) laugh b) cry c) eat ice cream (for the sake of full disclosure I will admit that occasionally I will take part in all three... at the same time). I'm always saying things like "tomorrow will be better" or "well at least..." or "it wasn't so bad..." But sometimes it really is isn't it? It really is so bad. Or it turns out sometimes tomorrow isn't better, it's... gasp!! worse! So what is one to do? How do you look at or talk about your life in a way that is both true to the events that transpired but is at least in the tiniest way still reserving some room for hope and gratitude?
You see I've always been a firm believer that without gratitude there is no happiness. Once gratitude evaporates from life we begin to view everything from the perspective of entitlement. How dare I get sick when I am entitled to perfect health?? How dare my car/dishwasher/computer/tv etc., breakdown when I am entitled to it working perfectly into infinity?? How dare things not go my way today when I am entitled to an endless stream of perfect Mary Poppins like days?? And then what happens is that whenever something I believed I was entitled to doesn't take place I'm instantly sad/angry/depressed. It's a real crappy way of existing I'll tell ya. That's why I stopped living like that a long time ago.
And yet crappy days exist. Things don't go my way and I'm certainly not a robot and I get mad or sad or both. And I'm trying to find my place in acknowledging the hurt and disappointment that I feel as a human being but at the same time moving past it and finding gratitude in... something for I am spiritual human being trying to be better today than I was yesterday. So I stick to the "yes but" mentality. Yes, today sucked cats and dogs but! I'm healthy, my baby smiled at me, I had a good lunch, I got a sweet email or I binge watched House of Cards (that show is very high on my list of things I'm grateful for). And yes, there are days when I'll catalogue it all and it seems like there's really nothing (if we are to be honest I think we've all had those days) and then I'll simply say "I'm grateful for being here today." It's a horribly cliche thing to say I agree, and yet as someone much wiser than myself once said "if everyone threw their problems in a pile you would still pick your own." Because at the end of the day there is nowhere else and no one else I'd rather be going through a crappy day with than my family.
The beauty of life too is that it's rarely all crap. Even on bad days there are moments - moments of hand holding, moments where smiles are exchanged or perhaps a little laugh, belly rubs and hugs and stupid youtube videos and someone paying you a compliment. Or a really pretty sunset. Or a walk that lifts your spirits of only for a few fleeting hours. It's something. And that's all we really need at the end of the day - something.
And so in a effort to uphold my desire for both sincerity and optimism I'll tell you about our weekend. I'll tell you that we had one of the most wonderful and memorable Valentine's days ever complete with mushy cards and chocolates and flowers. We took a trip to Chincoteague Island - one of our favorite places to go for a quick getaway. We stayed in a beautiful hotel complete with crisp white sheets and a glorious view of the water. We enjoyed some great meals - pizza, my favorite greek salad from a little hole in the wall and some A+ stone crab. We talked, napped, walked on the beach and watched the Olympics. We are so incredibly grateful for this time we got to spend together as a family just soaking up all this love.
But I'll also tell you that Birdie does not do well on long trips when she's cutting canines. I'll tell you about how I abruptly had to pull over into a town we weren't familiar with and run around looking for baby tylenol like a chicken with it's head cut off. How she screamed for most of the last hour of the drive. How she threw fits about fifteen minutes after arriving at every restaurant. How she refused to sleep in her crib at the hotel and it would take us an hour to put her back down every night at about 3:30 am (which meant we didn't get back to sleep until 4:30 am) and then she would promptly wake up at 7 am. How papa bear got sick the last day and we got lost coming home (once again with a very angry baby).
That's the full story and that's the truth. We had fun but it also sucked, and isn't that so true of life as a parent?? The bad didn't outshine the good but at the same time the good doesn't mean the bad was simply a figment in our imagination (the sleep deprivation we have both been feeling since is a very real side effect). Because I don't know about you but I can't not have fun or try to have fun. Sometimes all this fun seeking is a smashing success and sometimes it's just smashing (as in cell phones being thrown at your head by a baby with a very strong arm). But I keep trying. I'd say it's about a 70/30 success rate. Those aren't bad odds I don't think? So that's my reality, that's my truth. The good and the bad because if we're being honest it's rarely all good or bad. It's somewhere in the middle or a little of one sprinkled amidst the other. I like to think it's life's way of keeping us grounded, keeping us honest.

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