Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Voice of Definition

As I walked our dogs this morning, among nature in our neighborhood, I was at once in a forest but with a rushing river of cars speeding by me on their way to some hurried destination. I realized that we all live within the life limits of contradiction. I listen to the birds outside my window, chirping their songs and I hear the clicking of my nails on my computer. We live in a metropolitan city of 3 million people, in the country. My husband and I have four children and three grandchildren in a family that has experienced great joy, sorrow, celebration, anger, delight, and frustration, but great love. I have a blessed life and a challenged life. This morning, as I listened to the cars speeding past me, I pretended there was a rushing river running through the forest I walked in. I could have chosen to be annoyed with the sounds of cars, their "breath" as they rushed past me in my solitude. Instead, I redefined them. There was a time in my life when I would have been unable to do that.

How often in my life have I rushed from one destination to another, annoyed with the doingness of my life, anxiously trying to get to the next thing on my list? The trouble with living our lives is that the "to do" list is never finished. At days end, there is always another day to fill up. I understand a busy life, I have lived that kind of life since I was a child, chasing my mother around as she worked hard to be a professional business owner, mother, caretaker, and still have an attempt at her own life. I didn't stop when I left home; I fill up my days, like a water pitcher full of water and at most day's end I am empty and ready for rest. But now, instead of having anxiety over the amount of water in the pitcher, I simply have learned to drink one glass at a time.

Life today is far more complicated than it was when I was a child. The "busy" has been remodeled and redefined. But humanity still complains about the same things. The greatest gift Oprah gave to the world, honestly, is the reminder to be grateful. The job I have to suffer through traffic to get to feeds my family, the stacks of laundry reminds me that I have clothes to wear, the dishes I have to do reminds me that I have a full belly when many in the world are going hungry, the opportunities to do what I love reminds me to honor the minutes and hours of my day because I have awakened, once again, to a life full of contradiction...but to a life I love. It took me years to redefine my life and what each moment means to me. I am deeply grateful for the contradictions and the blessings and how just a slight change of perception has redefined my precious days.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Candi.. I needed a reminder, Everyone has stress in their lives.. its how we chose to deal with it that matters most.

Jenny Fairbanks