Twenty four hours from this moment (7:42 a.m., as I write these words), our home will be a-buzz with my Daycare Family once again. My holidays will be all but a memory.
One week ago, I was sitting at this very computer writing a post about our family reunion I had just attended and I was savoring the moments at my disposal before running out the door towards the commitments that filled that day.
One week from now, I will be in the thick of enduring my once-every-five-years colonoscopy. Let the good times roll!
Two months from now, I plan to have my Family Book Project on its way to the printer and all of my research filed neatly away and out of sight.
Three months from today, I will be 'back to work' after (what I can only assume will be) a fun-filled family reunion with my dad's side of the family.
Time. It comes and goes, it ebbs and flows, it creeps by yet it speeds on.
We think we know what to expect as we look at our calendar and tentatively map out our lives but it is really an illusion.
When we wake up each morning and our life unfolds just as we expect it to unfold, we have no idea how fortunate we are.
Waking up to go to a job that is draining you? Think of how you would feel if you were laid off from that job and 'pounding the pavement' (these days, more aptly, pounding your computer keys) looking for a job that provided security, stability, benefits and a future.
Waking up to a family that is pulling you from every direction? Think of how you would feel if one of those very family members were facing a life-threatening illness.
Waking up to a life full of stress, demands and crisis? How would you feel if you woke up to a day that had no direction at all. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.
Waking up to a stiff and achy body, after never really falling asleep? How would you feel if you were waking up in a hospital bed, knowing that you were never going home again?
I know of at least (and in many cases, more) one person that falls into the category of 'one (or more) of the above'.
Every single morning that we wake up, period, is a very good start to a day. When we wake up in our own home, we are blessed. When we are ill and a doctor can pinpoint the cause and fix it, it is miraculous. When we have a life that fulfills and demands us to keep showing up, we are fortunate. To have a job that you can count on, is a fate better than not having said employment. To have a family that is hale and hearty and tugging at your coat sleeves or heart strings is a gift.
Each and every day that I wake up to life-as-I-know-it and live out the day-as-I-expect-it, I count myself as one of the lucky ones.
My holidays may be over but my gratitude for the life that I have waiting for me tomorrow morning (and all of the mornings thereafter) is something I hope that I always appreciate.
I already know that I will look back upon these days as 'the good ol' days'. So why not appreciate them while I am living them?
It isn't always easy to be grateful for that-which-brings-you-down. Sometimes we have the power to make a change, sometimes we don't. But as the Serenity Prayer says, "... grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference".
I wish you serenity in your world. Today, last week, next week, three months from now and each morning when you wake up.