I had a string of minor epiphanies today.
Here they are:
1. Bruises and bite marks on one's upper arm bloom into an even more dramatic flower of purple, red, and blue the day after they happen. It's like a fascinating rose garden growing before my eyes. An occupational hazard/rose garden.
2. Sometimes all you have to offer at the family dinner is a loaf of crusty Pugliese bread from Costco you pulled from the freezer and stuck in the microwave. And it is enough. And everyone will dive into it with gusto, alongside the other fancier options.
3. We will always be a circus side show at church, and I am so over it. If you go into it knowing someone (or three) will fall apart and act like rodeo clowns then it's no biggie when they actually do. It's how we roll, and it doesn't make me want to scream at the universe or run screaming down the street while pulling out clumps of my hair anymore. One of us sometimes (always) has to leave church with one or two of our boys. We are fulfilling our calling as parents to kids who can't handle church very much. We are simply doing it in sweatpants. With a triple batch of bran applesauce muffins in the oven. And we are doing it without bitterness. Yay for muffins without bitterness!
4. Perspective changes everything. One's circumstances do not change, but the way one sees them can readily change. It's brilliant in it's simplicity. This calls for some subcategories:
A) If you expect perfection, then reality will always be a disappointment. But if you view every good (or challenging) thing as a gift which contributes to your growth and experience, you will be grateful. Which brings me to...
B) Gratitude is so much better. It just is.
C) My new goal is to focus on what we have, rather than what we lack.
5. Knowing that someone else has it harder or worse than you doesn't make your life NOT hard. But it can shake you from your reverie and remind you that in one way or another, we are all suffering together. We all struggle with something, or many things, and we can be empathetic and supportive. We can choose compassion. We can be like my friend Marla who elects to always see the good in people, even when you're acting like a pill. We can decide to be nice. We can try to understand.
And thus concludes my introspective self-help blog post.