Saturday, January 10, 2015

Be Happy With What You Have

The other day Josh and I were talking about what would have happened if we had stayed together back when we were young.  I commented that I thought that he would have, in his 15 year old brain, been content to hit it and quit it and we would have never ended up together long term.  He didn't agree with me, which was nice and made me feel bad about my cynicism.  I kept thinking about how that situation would have turned out.  Would I have been happy only having ever been with one person?  Would I have been content committing myself to one person literally FOREVER?  Would I have felt cheated that I didn't get to explore who I was without him?  The answer to all of those questions is that I probably would have.  But then I started to ask myself why. 

My maternal grandparents are in their 80's and have been together since my grandmother was 13. She had her first child at 14 and continued to have five more throughout the years.  I am certain that my grandparents have not always liked each other. They have not always wanted to be together.  I'm sure that there were weeks that my grandmother was SO happy when my grandpa left on Sundays for his out of town work, even if he was leaving her with all those kids, just so he would get out of her space. The thing is that they do have is loyalty.  They have a sense of commitment that you can't find today. They stuck it out no matter what happened. And now, 70 years later, they are still together. 

My Grandparents, quite a few years ago, with their Great Grandchildren

That's something that people don't do anymore.  Society is always reaching for the next goal, the next level.  There is always a constant "What if".  I read a statistic the other day that more kids live in households with step-parents than with both of their real parents.  Obviously, I don't get to speak out against divorce.  I've done it.  Twice. But how sad is it that we have become a society of people who are always looking for something better?

Hindsight is 20/20 and it's happy to think that if we had been a little smarter back in the day we would have been able to stick it out for the long haul.  I know that the experience of 32 years and 2 divorces (not to even speak of the numerous other failed relationships) have prepared me to be happy now.  To know that it's way more important to resolve issues and figure them out then give up and walk away. To think in the happy part of my brain that the reason it didn't work out when we were younger is so that we could grow and learn so that it could work out now.  I know that the grass is greener where you water it.  But it took all of those other stupid experiences to come to that realization.  

What if we were all just happy with what we have when we have it?  What if we weren't always looking for the next best thing, not necessarily just in relationships, but in life? What if we realized that more isn't always better?  I think that we would all be a whole lot happier. And we would probably realize who we're supposed to be with the first time, instead of 18 years later. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I'm Singing the Winter Blues #wintersucks #wheresthesun

We've all learned by now how I feel about the Winter. And the cold. And the rain. And the grey. And the dark. If you don't know all you have to do is look at the many different blogs that I have written in the past year and a half about the topic.  What it comes down to is that I'm just not a fan of any weather that isn't sunshine.  

Just to add some bi-polar to this blog. As much as I don't like the fall, winter or half of spring in the Pacific Northwest.  I kind of feel like I got cheated this year.  Weird I know.  It's January 6th and it was almost 50 degrees outside, there hasn't been any snow this year.  And it doesn't look like there is going to be.  The thing about snow is that at least there is a break in the rain and grey monotony. Plus, you get to have a little bit of fun in the snow, after you get done worrying about how to get to work/get kids to school/ get out of work/ keep kids home. Plus snow means that you got to have winter.  My favorite snow is the snow that you just wake up to in the morning.  Where everything is clean and white and smooth and bright and it's a surprise. Maybe that's why I like snow, it's bright like the sun, when you can't have the sun. 

I also feel like the snow is something that you can look forward to when there isn't a whole lot else to look forward to after Christmas. Someone, ages ago, decided that during the months of endless darkness, when the light is gone, we get to have holidays.  First Halloween, just when it's starting, then Thanksgiving, when you're as annoyed as you can be with the dark and grey.  Then we're distracted by Christmas and New Years when the darkness is absolutely at it's worst.  But what then? 
Then you have the cold dark of January, with nothing to look forward to except Spring.  February isn't much better, Valentines Day, in the cold and dark I suppose. March it's getting better, there's more light, but there is still the incessant rain, which continues right on through May. Spring starts in May, I love May.  

So, I guess what I have discovered is that although I hate the grey and the cold and the rain, what I really hate is the fact that there isn't anything really exciting to look forward to until May when you can start spending time outside again. Which is probably why this is the time of year I'm always looking for a project, or a change of some kind.  In the past two years I have started at a new property in January, this year I did it a little early in October.  This is also the time of year that I want to plan a trip, or fifty.  I love leaving town in February, because by February I feel like I'm going insane in the dark rain. 

I found the word vorfreude while I was searching for pictures for this blog. Which is the joy that come from imaging future pleasures.  Ah, future pleasures.  I'm a planner, we all know that. I want to plan to be someplace warm, and sunny.  I want to plan for things to happen that will end the monotony of the day in day out darkness. A trip. A new venture. A new hobby.  Another trip.  That's what gets me through winter. 

I know that I'll make it through the Winter.  I have made it successfully through 32 Pacific Northwest Winters.  And I'm sure I'll make it through a few more.  In the mean time I'll fill myself with vorfreude by planning for the Winter, years in the future, that I won't have to spend the October through May wishing for sun, because I'll already be in it.