Saturday, November 30, 2013

putting the lack thereof in perspective

It feels important to acknowledge this place I'm at right now... This place in my life where it's really hard to see what I do have in comparison to what I don't have. And what I don't have is REALLY BIG, or at any rate it seems that way right now. Lately, I’m often feeling very alone, and very small, and unwanted, and unimportant. And lacking.

Yet, my life is full of...

~People who care about me.

~People about whom I care a great deal.

~Activities that bring me joy.

~Things that make me smile.

~Quiet and loud.

~Friends that make me giggle.

~Books, movies, music and plays. Escapes into new worlds and characters. Sparks of ideas on how I want my life to be.

~Projects that keep my hands and mind busy creating.

~Clean clothes, sheets, blankets, dishes, floors, socks, towels, water.

~Good food cooked by me and others--honestly food is one of the simple pleasures in life.

~My vacuum cleaner--I know it's funny to be thankful for a vacuum cleaner but it sure does make my life easier.

~Hot water, dishwasher, washer and dryer, ice cream maker, crock pot, stove and oven.

~Warm coats. Hats. Scarves. Gloves.

~My little brother's pack back.

~Mistakes. Repentance. Forgiveness.


~Crying tears of sadness and joy. Lots of this lately.

~A friend who says, "Hey, when the zombie apocalypse happens, you're coming over to my house. My back door is always open for you. You know that right?"

~People who enjoy Doctor Who at least as much I do, if not more, and who want to enjoy it with me.

~Nerdiness--so much nerdiness. Yes, I'm mainly talking about Star Trek fun here.

~Cookies and ice cream. Really, really good burgers and fries and milkshakes. Pho.

~Phone calls from family and friends. And the conversations with young nephews who really know how to sum up my life.

~Lots and lots of laughter.

~Opportunities to take care of others and be taken care of myself.

~People who say thank you. Who stop and listen, and make me talk in spite of myself.

~People who choose me, and let me choose them back.

~People who make really hard choices to do and be better, and inspire me to do the same.

~People who say "Man that really, really stinks." And don't try to figure it out for me. Sometimes it's important to just acknowledge the stink and let it be.

~Once a week phone calls from my dad.

~Getting right it wrong, a lot. And getting it right a lot too.

~A Father who has a plan and so much love. And right now my tiny ounce of faith in that plan and His love.

~Conversations with people who are in my boat, or who have moved onto another boat, but have been in my boat. This is so helpful.

~Saying goodbye and hello. Letting go.

~So much more than I listed here.

See, that's a long list of goodness that I have in my life! But the lack pushes its dark little self up to the top of the pile, and is the only thing that catches my attention even though it's surrounded by so much light. The lack feels and looks really big, and I'm having trouble focusing in on the light and there is a lot of light. I know that.

I guess my point in writing this today is to just say out loud that I’m struggling a bit with being single, and it’s also in the face of an upcoming milestone birthday. I honestly never imagined I would come this far as a single woman. I thought that by now I would be sharing my life with my man at my side and our family.  Sherry Dew calls it living the unexpected life, and my life is certainly unexpected too.

I suppose I never did choose the expected route, especially as an LDS woman, so it really should be no surprise that I’m here single. Right? I just never thought of my choices as excluding the possibility of marriage and family. Maybe they have and maybe they haven’t, I'm still figuring that one out. All I know is that I try to do what I feel is right, and to be as Christ-like and loving as I can. Yes, I know in the end these two things are the most important, but at times it’s little to no comfort as I contemplate my life and what’s next for me.

All I know for sure (most days) is I’m where I felt He wants me. He said be patient a bit longer, and I’m trying--sometimes not succeeding at all. But right now it’s really hard. And that’s okay to acknowledge.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

contagiously happy

Earlier this week, some friends and I were sharing our Myers-Briggs personality type indicator results. (If you're curious about your type indicator, you can take a quick test here.) The conversation then turned to the fan-made charts of each personality type matching a character in a popular book or movie series, like Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Downton Abbey. There is even an animal chart if you're not into fictional characters. Anyway, it's a fun way to explore who we are, and how we interact as human beings.

On the animal chart I'm a dolphin, and the first words of the description are "contagiously happy," which I wasn't too sure about. Then a friend said that she felt like it was totally true about me. I laughed and said that I felt like I was contagiously bitchy crabby last week. 

contagiously happy dolphin
via here

So, on Friday morning, I woke up feeling rather  bitchy... er, crabby. And I had to cover to the front office desk, which meant I needed to be pleasant and polite, or exactly opposite of how I was really feeling. As I walked from the car into the office I remembered my friend saying that she felt I really was contagiously happy, and I said to myself, "Okay, Christine, you need to own this "contagiously happy" piece in you today, because if you don't people will be hurt."

So, I owned it. And people left my desk laughing all day long, and it was fun! And I still felt crabby at times, but more often than not I was smiling, and genuinely so. It took a little while for it to feel completely genuine, but I was glad that it finally did. Friday turned out to be a pretty good day in spite of my waking on the wrong side of the bed.

My point in sharing all of this? It's always surprising to me where the reminders come from to be better than I am.

I'm grateful that a fun conversation with my friends about personalities, and fictional characters would be the inspiration for me to choose to be in a better mood, and remember to treat others how I want to be treated.

I'm grateful for the variety in my life that allows friends and moments like these to help me choose better.

Thank you.