Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Choose Happiness

This morning I woke up crankier than all get out. A tough day yesterday followed by a sleepless night and a raging headache first thing in the morning seemingly would set the tone for my day. Realizing I set the tone for my entire day at 6:30am, I stopped in my tracks.
I was grouchily fetching something for Elizabeth and I said to myself " you can chose to be a grouch and ruin your day and most likely those around you." or " You can choose to be positive in the face of negativity".  I chose happiness.  I realized in that moment I needed to practice what I preached. I have been having a lot of these conversations lately with people in my life. I have encouraged friends and family members " to focus on the good, to be positive, to believe in the impossible".  This morning I realized I needed a swift kick in the ass, to get back on track.

This past year has been one of the most challenging in my entire life. I knew moving 1100 miles away from everything I knew to was going to be hard but I had no clue just how hard. For months I have desperately missed my friends and family and it has made me so very sad. However if I am going to be positive, here is the truth I am incredibly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. While distance is tough it does not define our relationship. Although we are so far apart I feel closer now to those I miss so dearly because of the great effort we have put into maintaining our relationships. While I am sometimes lonely and sad, I chose love.

This past year has also been the biggest test of my marriage. It would be easy on the tough days to get upset and assign blame, that we are here because of a job. Here is the truth, we are here because of a choice. A choice that was made as a team, a choice that was made because we believed it to be the best one for us and our family. There have been hard days, days when everything is called into question. This relationship started 18 years ago and at 19 years old we fell in love, at 26 we married at 30 we started a family. At 36 we made a life changing decision. We did this all together, with love and communication and trust. There are days when I want to throw in the towel. Then I take a moment and realize, no one has my back more than my husband, no one loves me more, no one knows me better, he knows what I am thinking before I even open my mouth 90% of the time, no one can make me laugh harder. Marriage is not easy, it is a commitment, one worth fighting for. Again I chose love.

I often feel overwhelmed by having three small children so far away from what was a built in support system.  Here is my new truth. I am stronger and more fearless now than I ever felt I could be. I can navigate doctor appointments, grocery stores, school functions, practices with no back up or extra pair of hands. While this might seem trivial to some I assure you it is not. Grocery shopping with 3 cranky kids is some parents Mt. Everest. ( you know what I'm talking about fellow parents)
Despite having GPS, I cannot count the number of times the girls and I have gotten lost the last year trying to explore some new park or playground. While it is scary to have no clue where I am or where I'm going. I choose adventure.

Here is what I have learned this past year. Life is full of challenges, sad days, loneliness, and stress. Confronting challenges, gives us strength to face the next obstacle. Sad days make you appreciate the happy ones all the more. Being lonely, makes you more kind and open to others. Having stress in your life makes you enjoy those relaxing moments just a little more.

I want to set a good example for my girls and for myself really. So I choose to practice what I preach.  I chose to be positive. I choose happiness.