Life Lessons 7 – 12

Most of the time, the blogs I write are snapshots in time, arrangements of words that are reflective of something I want to capture, something that I need to process outwardly in written form.  And I’ve written a lot of words in my day, so it’s hard to prioritize the ones that have meant the most as I wrote them.  But, there were certain things that I didn’t want to forget, I wanted to share with my daughters.  So, in early 2012 I began writing down life lessons I wanted my daughters to learn as they got older.  Often inspired by something in my own life, they were reminders of the things we seem to lose as we get older, more jaded, and less thoughtful of the space we occupy and how that affects the people around us. So, as my recap for 2012, I want to recount those lessons…

December 31, 2012

Here is Part Two.  Part One can be found HERE.

Life Lesson #7: Hope

This one I wrote during a violent storm.  Cate was watching the wind through the windows of the family room.  And she didn’t see a storm, she saw something else.  When everything seems to be falling apart, sometimes we have to believe it’s not falling apart at all.  It’s coming together exactly as it’s supposed to, maybe just not how we thought it would.  But I don’t believe hope is passive.  It’s not offering up prayers and waiting for an answer.  Hope is seeing an opportunity where it may not be so clear or obvious, and taking the chance to make it everything you ever wanted.

Life passes so quickly.  The youthful enthusiasm and joy can quickly wane as adult responsibilities take hold.  As my children grow so quickly before my eyes, we still take time to play and to use our imaginations.  The world, however beautiful, will not always be kind and I cannot keep them from hardship and disappointment.  But there are other things I can do.  Teaching them to believe and to imagine.  Remind them that they will need to work for what they dream is a place to start.  And giving them a home to always return to that’s familiar and safe, a place where those imagined dreams can be had and will be honored.  A place where my girls can always be themselves as they are and as they wish to be.
Taylor found herself in a situation she’ll find herself in more and more as she gets older.   The choice to continue in what she’s doing or give up… and she chose to keep going.  And this one isn’t one you can talk about so much as you can hope your children find inside themselves when ultimately faced with the decision.  And as Taylor crossed the finish line of a race she didn’t want to run with a significant PR, she found it had been there all along.
“Good things happen to those who hustle.” – Anais Nin
Life is busy.  That won’t change.  And the trick isn’t so much to create time as it is to maximize it, and prioritize what needs getting done with the time you do have.  That means saying no, making sacrifices, working overtime, changing jobs, taking a day off, and making it all work.  It’s not a science, it’s an art, but worth the effort. 
Second only to my Life Lesson on Belief, this is my favorite post of the year.  Beauty is the one thing that we can all recognize but can rarely explain.  It’s worth a staunch pursuance.
“Beauty isn’t just satisfaction.  You don’t just rest in it.  It’s not just distress.  It’s not just painful.  It’s a joyful pain.  It breaks your heart…  A joy, a wonder, and a distress, more deep than any other because here one touches truth.  Such emotions all beauty induce; an astonishment, a delicious wonderment, a longing, a love, a trembling that is all delight.  All perceive it, not all are stunned sharply by it.  Only those whom we call lovers ever are…” – Peter Kreeft
Beauty remains with you once it’s been recognized and experienced.  Seek beauty and carry it with you.  Like love, truth, and joy, beauty multiplies and moves outward like a ripple making everything else more beautiful in its wake.  It cannot be contained.  
Giving is always in style.  Being a person who is willing to give without reception, whether it is of time, talent, or even money, giving is something always worth the trouble.  The beautiful part is when the giving transcends any possible reciprocity and the giving itself becomes the reward.   And the intention in the giving is what matters, and not feeling like the giving is a loss but a passing on of something of value to another.   Give generously. 

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