Glow

We are in day two of a snow storm here in my little area of the world, and people can’t decide what they’re more pissed about – that it is in fact snowing in Ohio, or that it hasn’t snowed as much as predicted.

Personally, I’m just going about life.  Putting on my snow boots and going to work. I can’t stop the snow, so I mean. . . what’s the sense in complaining? School has been cancelled and the boys are a little stir crazy, and my dog is less than impressed with the business of trudging out into the snow to use the bathroom.  But we’re warm and we have food, and my vehicle isn’t scary to drive in the weather. I’m good with whatever comes our way.

I have been very vocal about my dislike for snow and cold for many years. I grew up in an area that it regularly snowed buckets though, so after this long it’s kind of become par for the course – live in the Midwest, get Midwest weather, right?  Actually, I kind of live for the dark and quiet months of winter now. It feeds my introvert soul. Curled up under a blanket watching TV, or as I am now – sweats, desk blanket, music in my ears as the furnace blows warmth out of the near by vent. I feel like there is less expected of me in the winter, and it’s a time to recoup and relax. There is barely any traffic on the roads as the snow thickens, and there is a sense of security to be found in the quiet, snow drenched world.

I have an article being published on Her View from Home tomorrow, and I’ve been thinking all week about how maybe I should put something out there other than the one post I’ve written this year, so I pulled out my quote book to see what wisdom it may hold for me.

“Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.”

Virginia Woolf

Highlights.  That’s what this made me think of.  As in, life is not strictly the big events, the life altering things that transpire.  The new baby, the new job, the new house or spouse – rather, it is the little moments, and the overall feel of your day to day.

I’m closer to 40 than I am to 30, and I have things to reflect on now.  I’ve come through what I like to think of as the hardest parts of life – the major struggles.  I’ve worked really hard to get to this point in life, and I like to think that while life isn’t ever completely free from trials and tribulations, maybe the majority of the bigger shit is behind me.

And I feel like I’m doing life right. Looking back I can see the bad parts, but I don’t feel defined by them.  I am happy most of the time, and I look back with fondness at the path I’ve travelled.  Twists and turns be damned – I have come so far, and I still have integrity and honesty and hope, I have joy and optimism on my side, and some hard won wisdom to keep me from fucking things up too badly.  If I could put one word to my life, I think triumphant would be it – and that’s what this quote makes me think of.

I look back and I don’t think of the individual moments that defined who I am as a person.  I don’t think of each individual hard part. I think of the forward movement – and I remember a whole hell of a lot of laughter and music and warmth. It’s like coming in from the cold to a well lit home with dinner in the oven – that’s how I feel about this life of mine. I’ve been through it, but I have in fact made it through.  The wind may howl outside, and I may need to step out there a time or two in the future, but the well lit warmth is still inside regardless, waiting for me.

It is not what you do in life, but how you live your life.  You are not defined by the highlights, but rather by how you handle what’s thrown your way. It doesn’t matter if your life has been easy, or if your life has been hard.  You could be handed everything and never have to work hard or struggle and still have a shitty feeling life.  Or like me, you could have had some hard parts and still look back fondly on your life – it’s all about mindset, perception, grace and mindfulness. Taking each moment with a grain of salt because the very next could be completely different and take you down a path you never envisioned. Realizing that a bad day is just a bad day – it’s not a bad life. And knowing that whatever you have now could be gone in the blink of an eye, and having a little humility in that knowledge.

Happy Thursday.  Maybe take some time to consider the glow from the lamp, that halo of light, as opposed to the sometimes harsh direct light from the bulb itself.  You may find life hasn’t been as hard or ugly as you originally thought.

Photo by Daniel Spase on Unsplash

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