Friday, March 19, 2010


Over the past few weeks, people have very considerately asked how we are doing. I'm not going to lie - those first couple days (and, let's face it, the previous few months) were sprinkled with moments of stress and, dare I say it, despair. But since then I have felt surprisingly (to me, at least) upbeat. Almost to the point where I feel apologetic. Or that I'm in denial, refusing to view the situation for what it could be. I'm feeling a bit Pollyanna, perhaps?

The thing is, I've got a heck of a lot to be grateful for, and I've become increasingly aware of how lucky I am to be healthy. I know a number of people who are struggling and suffering physically. I have spent a good amount of time thinking on them, and their trials. More specifically, I've thought of my Aunt Alyce, who suffered through and finally lost her battle with Lymphoma in 1989. I grew up down the street from her family and her five children remain cherished cousins. Up until that point, I think our whole family thought we were invincible. Her death killed that notion, however naive it may have been. Since then our family has been sprinkled (though let's face it, Katie seems to have received tidal wave, after tidal wave) with sadness and pain, but through it all I have become acutely aware of how important, even if cliche, my health is.

And let's face it, my health is currently pretty outstanding. Ha.

So when people ask how we're doing, it's really not hard to reply, "Um, GREAT!" Because I have the energy to match the desire to take care of my kids. To do a billion loads of laundry and to make meals. Because the kids are seeing a lot of Joel and he can do things with us that he couldn't while employed. Because he has been working his tail off, networking and emailing and milking every lead he has, which has resulted in a lot of interviews, a few freelance opportunities, and a couple potential long-term options.

And on top of that, my mom posted a quote that totally captured what I've been thinking about. And then my sister totally copied it so I'm going to be a complete lemming and use it here.
Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed.

The fact is most putts don't drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise...

Life is like an old-time rail journey--delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed.

The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride (Hinckley, 1997).
Regardless of religion, the message is important (if you're not into "Lord" stuff, make it "The trick is to be grateful for the ride" and you've still got the message. But, obviously, I'm partial to the original). And I, for one, am grateful that this ride has taken an unexpected, and yet scenic, detour.

(these pictures have nothing to do with the topic,
though I bet you could find some kind of correlation.
I just liked them, so I posted them.)


wanda said...

I totally see the correlation... she's content with the balloon, but doesn't have a firm grasp on it, it starts to move away (trials), she grabs it and then she's got a firm grip on it and is content again.

She's adorable and the photographer did a great job. And I love that my word verification is "finals".

Margo said...

Sarah, I adore you and everything about your outlook on life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and trials with us. I love the quote. thanks. have a wonderful day full of more balloons and fun as a family.

Katie Ross said...

Uh, I haven't been keeping up on my blog reading lately- I have some major catching up to do. And my blessings far outweigh my challenges.

laura said...

I've thought about this a lot in the last year... a few months ago I was having some issues with my knee, to the point that even normal walking was sort of painful. It's fine now (though I do wear a brace thingy when I run long distances), but it made me very aware of how fortunate I am to be healthy and (relatively) strong and to be able to run like I do. It's something that I used to just take for granted.