Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Joy" happens

It's been 18 days since I left my job. It was a tough choice to make but, our kids need  me at home. It has really put things in perspective.

For the last two years I've been working 6 and 7 days a week to try to get back on track to the lifestyle that we once knew.  A big house in a great school district, shopping at Nordstroms, eating out several times a week, kids in dance, baseball, nice vacations and nice clothes. Compared to the standards here we didn't live extravagantly,  but we never had to say no to our children. Ever!

In the past, the sacrifices we had to make have been bearable. We just tightened up a little. But we have always managed to bounce back!

The tangible things that we had became less important as long as we still had what we needed.

I think the hardest part of going through transitions in your life is the carnage of friendships. The people that you had so much in common with go on with their lives, without you. It's sad. When things are tough sometimes just a conversation can be helpful to lift your spirits. But it seems as though people are uncomfortable being around those who are struggling.

I've always been an open book and wear my emotions on my sleeve which has not served me well in relationships. It seems to scare people away!

The funny thing is, that as you learn to live with less tangible things you find that you don't need all of that stuff. In fact, it feels good to live lighter. Less choices to make, less to clean, less to move and less to take care of. It simplifies life!

Unfortunately, that is not the case with friendships and relationships. Where you expected kindness and understanding people have turned their backs. However, in some cases kindness and good conversations have come from the most unlikely places. Casual acquaintances suddenly become more than that and strangers touch you in ways that leave you feeling very blessed! I've come to appreciate the relationships that I do have even more. I spend more time asking questions and really listening, not just to what people are saying but what they are feeling. I didn't take the time to do that before.

Being at home with my kids has forced me to slow down. It's not that there's less to do! Just as much laundry, cooking, dishes, dusting and vacuuming and yard work. But now I have time to see when
something needs my attention. Time to laugh and be silly. Time to investigate things I want to learn
about and things I want to teach my children.

I'm starting to find joy and good feelings from simple things like sleeping in, taking pictures of my kids being kids. I even get real satisfaction from empty dirty clothes baskets! I can have a real conversation with my son without distractions because we have to be somewhere. Suddenly my daughter and I are not at odds over every little detail. I have gotten back to being a really good cook, something I have a real passion for.

So, as we continue to fight this battle I am seeing things differently. We may have to eat at home and hold off on a new pair of shoes for a while. We don't have as much stuff as we used to and we have less friends to spend time with.

I believe that there is a lesson in each road we travel in life. This one is becoming crystal clear!

For now our hearts are full and today that's all we need!

Live 2 Inspire

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