While driving out to the Nature Center this morning, I become overwhelmed with emotion. I was completely overtaken by the beauty of the day. The blue bird skies, the crisp fall air and the majestic mountains were breathtaking. As I sipped my Jitters latte with Bailey the wonder dog in my lap, I was overwhelmed with just how blessed I am. It’s easy to overlook the obvious when burdens begin to feel heavy and life is developing in a way we may not have anticipated or desired. I began to reflect on my life….
Work has been especially challenging the past few months and it’s left me both physically and emotionally exhausted. My own classes have been demanding and time consuming, leaving me brain drained on a daily basis. Whereas I love living in Eagle River again, there never seems to be enough time to do the things I believe with help refill my teapot. A complicated relationship has left me fragile and for as much as I’m thrilled to have my four adult children living their lives independently of me, I still struggle with the awareness that each of them took a small piece of my heart when they flew from my nest.
As Bailey shifted his position, I looked in the backseat of my car and had to chuckle as I saw the carseat base on one side and the dog kennel on the other. It was at that moment, I felt an overpowering sense of gratitude for my life as it is today. I’m an unattached 50 year old grandmother, with a medically diagnosed schizophrenic dog. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, and yet despite it all…I am blessed!
My life has been complicated in many ways. In many situations, I’ve been a victim of circumstance, however as I’ve fought the fight to continue my journey, I’ve also been a recipient of selfless grace and generosity from others. Despite the fact that I still harbor residual shards of brokenness, those fractured pieces no longer control how I live my life, or the expectations I have for my future.
I’m more physically healthy now than I’ve been since my teenage years. My emotional health is the best it’s ever been, and even though it’s sometimes hard to see the forest through the trees, I feel a sense of confidence in life. In the midst of all of life’s chaos including the worry, the concern, and the fears I have for those I love, along with the periodic anxiety of what my own future holds, I’m content.
As I watched the floating leaves on the fall color palate, my eyes shifted to the distant glacier. In many ways, the stark blue hues seemed misplaced amongst the yellow, orange and red foliage. The glacier provided a reminder of the many changes that occur over time and the unexpected beauty those changes can bring. Like the glacier, my life has been a series of drastic events over time. Some of them of been unexpected and unfortunate, and some have been undeserved blessings. My gratitude today is for all of them, since without both the defeat and the grace, my heart and soul wouldn’t understand the significance of the process leading to the beauty of the unexpected.
I am grateful and I am blessed.