Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Let the Sun Shine In

Life isn't all sunshine and roses. I try to focus on that which is light and positive. But really? Is life really like that for anyone? All of the time?

Life is bumpy. Sometimes you take a wrong road. Sometimes the right road has a few obstacles to overcome. Other times the road is under construction and there are unanticipated delays and detours to get to where you need to go. As it is with road construction ... sometimes in life, it gets worse before it gets better.

I'm on another new/old road. I've tried a lot of new paths lately and I've hightailed it back to a road that I thought that I knew. As familiar as it is ... there have been a few twists and turns since I last travelled this path. Perhaps I am what has changed the most.

New directions are exciting. And scary. They may lead you places that you never dreamed of going. This could be good. It could be bad.

Old destinations change. They are what you remember them to be ... but you are different. As I wrote that sentence, I was instantly taken back to the holiday where I unintentionally ended up reliving many old memories. It was fun to go back and remember what I felt at different stages and phases of my life. Sometimes it is nice to measure how far you have come since the last time you were at one of those stops on the road.

The important thing is to focus on 'where you go from here' ...

Yesterday, I sat down with my January, 2012 calendar page and budget before me. I compared what I was doing, where I was going, what I was earning and my bills to January, 2013. It was an eye opener.

As I flipped through the calendar, I was surprised at how similar my social calendar seems to be unfolding. Right down to seeing a movie with the same friend (just different dates). I walked through a loss with a friend last year. This year ... I walked through another loss with family.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

My work-world has taken a complete and total turn. And this is a good thing! I worked half of last January at one job. This year, I will have worked every available day. I write (and get paid to do so!). I deliver flyers (and get paid to exercise!). My income is stable this year. Last year, it was all over the map.

Work and finances seem to be finding solid ground again. Money isn't everything ... but not knowing what you are earning in a month gets a little tiresome after a few bad years (yes, I even compared this to January, 2011 and I am still far ahead of the game in my work-world).

Last year, I stepped out and forged a few new friendships and got to know family a little better. This year, those relationships are one year older, one year stronger and one year more in every way.

Life is repeating itself in many ways. Some of that is good. Some of it is sad. But I am taking what I learned and bringing it forward with me.

Life isn't easy. You can't predict what tomorrow will bring. Where there is happiness, there is also sadness. If there were not the contrasts in life, we wouldn't appreciate the small joys a regular day had to offer quite so much.

Celebrate the contrasts in your life. Where there is darkness ... there will be light. Just don't be afraid to open the door and let the sun find its way.

I truly hesitated about writing about the darkness I have been wading through. But the more that I write, the more I hear that others have walked (or are walking) the same path. By writing it out loud, I opened a door. I didn't walk out of it ... but others cracked it open a little more and the sun started to shine through.

Keep your door ajar. Open a window. Let the sun in. It may still be cloudy out there, but if you keep yourself open to letting the day light find its way through ... it will do its best to try and come find you.

Don't close yourself in. Set the darkness free and let it out into the light. Open up and let the sun shine brightly as soon as those clouds break up. And they will. They always do ...

Don't bottle it up inside ... set it free. It is a risk, but in my experience it is a risk worth taking.

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