Although we are seeing signs of decay and wilt this time of year in the Midwest, we still see lots of life. It is nearly impossible not to want to pinch myself every time I am outside in nature. It is turning out to be an awesome fall here in Iowa.
In some ways I feel my gratefulness for the world and life in general is an important sign: I am aware of how precious each day can be, if only we look for beauty in all that is around us. That includes things we aren't really grateful for.
I'm truly grateful for my boys and our puppy Shadow. They have renewed my sense of wonder and adventure in the world, time and time again. I'm grateful for this less traveled path of joy and some sorrow. My children have been, and continue to be, my greatest teachers in life, although it is hard to admit some days.
We experience sorrow when we see other children and friends who are missing this bursting with life inner and outward experience. We are not always perky and happy. We have our trying moments. But overall we are not struggling every day with issues that are a non-issues for us. As you can imagine we don't have issues with missing the bus. We aren't rushing through each day begging for a weekend only to be overwhelmed with more mundane existence. Each day is something to be appreciated and truly valued.
How do I know life is precious? I've spent a lot of time with elderly people, and I've spent a lot of time missing the living dead. And I miss those who died before I could truly appreciate them or understand them. The elderly will tell you everyday how fast their lives went by. They treat their grand kids the way they wished they could have been with their own children.
I feel regrets for those who are in a permanent mental or physical time out. Our life is too precious to be grounded in the material world of punishments and constant need for control. I don't want to spend my life waiting for joy. I strive to make joy everyday. I don't care what people think about how I live my life. I pity those who don't get it. I will love them anyway. I hope when they are too old to walk on the wild side or appreciate it, that they will not feel the sorrow I feel for them today.
We each have to find our own paths. And I am not trying to say my path is better. My path is not always easy. But it is bursting with life and much to be grateful for "right now." Right now is all I really have. I'm grateful for all my happy memories. But some memories are fuzzy and some are filled with regret.
This is dedicated to all those suffering from burnout, anxiety, or empty nest syndrome. If my own children are reading this 20 years from now, I hope they will appreciate all our walks on the wild side. I loved every minute of it! Even if it didn't always show.
Much love to you all!
Cheers and happy living,