I hope that last week went well, and that Mother’s Day was a good day for you, even if you spent it in some unusual non-traditional way. There are so many ways to be a mother these days, and to have a mother. Some of the most loving mothers in my life have been women I was not related to, and have been wonderful mothers to me. I cherish those relationships.
I was so touched by the many, many responses to my blog (on April 10, I think, “Random Acts of Kindness)—-we all need to remember at times that miracles DO happen, and sometimes the littlest blessing can turn out to be a big one, and just what we needed.
It touches me too to hear of the challenges you’re facing. Children you have lost, which I’ve experienced too, as you know, relationships you’ve lost, men who have abandoned you, difficult family relationships, and job challenges, one lady wrote that she still has to work at 63, and another one wrote that she is still obliged to work at 75. I do believe that even if working is hard at times, I think it keeps us alive and engaged in life, and busy. I can’t even imagine what I would do if I weren’t working. Particularly with my children grown up now, I need the challenge of work, and I’m lucky that I love my work—most of the time!!!.(I have a magnet on my fridge that I love, it says “I’ve done the calculation and I’ll be able to retire 5 years after I die”. That’s true for a lot of us, particularly if we have a lot of responsibilities to others!!) I really admire (much) older people who are still working, I hope I can continue writing until I’m very, very old!!!
The challenges you mentioned in your responses to my blog are the things I write about, because they are the challenges we all face—-and the things that frighten, sadden, and discourage us at times, whether the loss of a loved one, or a disappointment of some kind. And I write about them because I’ve experienced them too, so I can relate to what you said.
Your responses remind me of another house story that impressed me when I read it. It didn’t happen to me, but to someone else, and it was written in a little book that I still keep in a suitcase I travel with, because it’s a good reminder when something gets me down, and it’s a true story, written by an inspirational writer. She wrote about needing a new home, and not being able to afford a nice one. She was able to buy a very small house, in terrible condition. She said that it was truly ugly, and once she was in it, she absolutely hated the house, everything was shabby or broken, and she didn’t have the money to fix it up. She said that every night for a year, she just sat in the ugly house and cried, hating it, and the fact that she couldn’t have anything better. After a year, she said that she got tired of crying about the house, and she saved up and bought some fabric and made curtains, but the rest of the house was still a mess, she then bought some tools, and fixed the woodwork in the kitchen, she lived alone, and had to learn how to do it (I think she’d gone through a bad divorce). She said her kitchen looked amazing after she worked on the woodwork. She was so busy, working on her house at night, she stopped crying, and started enjoying it, and little by little, her ugly little house got better and better. She said it took her a year, but at the end of it, she had come to love the place, and she loved the way it looked. She redid the floors, and regrouted the bathroom, and did it all herself, and painted all the rooms. She saved up to buy inexpensive second hand furniture and fixed that up too. After a while, she really enjoyed it, and eventually she planted a garden in the tiny backyard. And AFTER she worked her tail off on the house, and loved the way it looked, and it felt like a cozy home, something changed in her fortunes, she got a great opportunity and a better job, she sold the house, and was able to buy a much better one that she loved. But the lesson that hit me from her story was that, she had to embrace the ugly house first, and really work to improve it, and once she did, everything changed—not immediately, but in a reasonable time. I think it took her a year to fix up the house, and then everything got better after that.
We ALL find ourselves in situations we hate, a home we don’t really like, a job we hate (I had a number of those before I was able to write full time), a boss who makes our life a living hell—-and most of the time, those situations don’t improve by magic. Sometimes, often, we have to embrace the situation we’ve got, and work on improving it, and only then, when our attitude changes toward it, are we shifted to a much better place or situation—but first we have to do OUR part. The bad boss doesn’t just quit and make your life easier, and no one walks up to the front door and hands you the keys to a better house, or gives you a check to improve it. But once you do your part, the miracles start to happen.
That story has been a great reminder to me that we have to work on improving a situation, and not just sit and cry about it, and we can’t give up until we make the ‘ugly houses’ and situations in our lives more livable, and THEN the blessings and miracles happen. A friend may help you, or a lucky break, or some unexpected money, or someone may give you what you need—-but we have to do our part of the work too. I hadn’t thought about that little book in a while, and you reminded me of it when I read your responses to my blog, so I’m sharing it with you.
Have a terrific week—–an AMAZING week, not just a good one!!!
much love, Danielle