Wednesday, January 9, 2013

unexpected inspiration

Preface: As I was looking through my drafts that have never been published, I found this little gem. It was written in September of 2011. I'm not sure why I never published it. 

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was somewhere in the middle.

I feel like over the past few months I've been experiencing something in the middle of life's ups and downs. Most days are good. Some days are bad. Today was half good, half bad.

This morning I took Blake to a park we don't usually go to. It's usually crowded so I prefer another park. With all the rain we've been having I was hoping there wouldn't be a ton of kids around. And I was right. It was a wonderful hour spent at the park. Blake ran through puddles, went down a few slides, and I threw away all the trash he picked up and handed to me. All with the Manhattan skyline in the background. As I looked at our beautiful backdrop I thought, "See, I don't hate everything about this place. What a unique experience I get to have right now. I never would have imagined that I would be playing at a park with my 1 year old son with Manhattan in the background."

I thought maybe I was rising out of this slump I've been feeling lately. The sun was shining for the first time in days. The cool breeze felt nice as I watched Blake play. 

Fast forward to this afternoon.

After making a trip to Costco, and let's be honest, that right there can ruin a perfectly good day, I was still in need of one ingredient: poppy seeds. Apparently New York doesn't believe in poppy seeds. Against my better judgment but out of desire to provide a great lunch for the women that make my life easier on Sundays, I decided that I'd walk a few blocks from Costco to see if any smaller supermarkets carried them. 2 stores and 19 blocks later, still no poppy seeds. And that's where my good day turned bad.

I know it seems so ridiculous. How could a little thing like poppy seeds ruin a perfectly good day? Well it's not just the poppy seeds. It's the fact that I feel like life in Brooklyn is so much harder than I'm used to. Nothing is ever simple. Everything has to be difficult to do. And time consuming. 

When we got home, I slammed the door and broke down. I stood there sweaty from huffin' it 19 blocks with tears streaming down my face. Blake just stared at me. I held out his sippy cup and said, "I'm sorry. I just hate this place. Everything is just so hard." He took his sippy cup and ran off to play. I drank a glass of water and composed myself. 

Fast forward to tonight. 

A few friends posted this article on facebook. I was intrigued because it was written by this guy, and I thought, "I'd like to read what he thinks about 9/11 and the years after." As I read, this brief sentence hit me like a ton of bricks, "But we are forgetful." And the flood gates opened. 

Why has it been so easy to forget all the wonderful things I have been blessed with and only focus on the difficult, trying times in my life? Why has it been so easy to forget my commitment to God and just go through the motions? When did that become who I am?

The article goes on to talk about our commitment to God. And his commitment to us. His unfailing commitment to us. As I continued reading I had a very clear image in my mind of how my Father in Heaven sees me:

I confidently choose a path and embark only to meet a few stumbling blocks. Maybe I fall off that path as my commitment to Him wanes. I trip and stumble and stop to sit on a rock and wonder, "Why me? Why do things have to be so hard for me?" All the while my Heavenly Father is there, watching over me. And He thinks, "Nope, not that way. That's not the way you need to go. But I'll let you go that way because I know you're trying. And you're forgetful. But when you remember, you'll dust yourself off and get back to where you need to be."

So in the midst of reading this article, an article meant to be about spirituality after 9/11 and how ten years later many have forgotten how they turned to God in those difficult times, I realized something not related to September 11th at all.

I have forgotten how good my life really is. How blessed I am to have the things that I have. And how without commitment, going through the motions is just a waste of time.

And while this realization doesn't make me want to run into the streets and profess my love for NYC or make day to day life here any easier, it does allow me to step back for a moment and just take it all in. These "afflictions shall be but a small moment."  So I should probably stop letting them feel bigger than they really are. 

Now if only I could find some poppy seeds...

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

Thank you for deciding to post this -- it's a topic I regularly need to be reminded of.