And with the closing of the store came the huge loss of savings and all financial lifelines.
Sigh. We miss that, too.
On top of all that, and more importantly, around the holidays we lost two dear family members, a grandmother and an uncle, to cancer - after years of watching them struggle - both within 6 weeks of each other.
It comes in waves, doesn't it?
We don't live charmed lives. Maybe it's because of the choices we make. Maybe our risks aren't calculated enough. Maybe we just have bad luck. Maybe we just have bad genes. We obviously have quantitatively more lessons to learn in this lifetime that others seem to have. At least that's how it seems. I wonder about that sometimes...are others just better at hiding it? or living in denial? or simply don't see some of the same things as worth fussing over? Maybe I tell myself these things to make myself feel better...maybe that's my own version of denial. Often when I find myself envious of another's wealth or travel luxuries or house or clothes, I do eventually discover that they, too, have struggles. They may have different struggles, on a whole different level, but if you dig deep enough you'll usually find them. We each have our own individual perception of what we consider to be a struggle...or a luxury.
For example, I haven't had a dishwasher in almost 4 years....is that a struggle? Maybe to some a dishwasher is a luxury...to some it's a given. I'm so used to living without it now, I'm not sure I see it as important anymore.
And what we need is to heal and relax and take deep breaths, rebuild our savings, live within our means, turn off the cable, read up on farming, unplug from mainstream ideologies and expectations, learn some lessons, and really focus on coming back together as a family.
At first I was scared. Gah! So many changes! Out of our comfort zones! But now I'm actually looking forward to a year on the lake. It may not be all we had hoped for in this next move. It isn't the land we were hoping for. It's yet another year of renting, which is the opposite of what we all want...but perhaps, as the Rolling Stones like to say, it's exactly what we need. With a deeeeeeep heavy sigh, as we relax into these new ideas and a whole new town, I say BRING IT!
Because let's face it, we are all capable of handling so much more than we think we are.
Disappointments are tied to expectations. If we give up our expectations and just breathe and go with what is put in front of us, whether we like it or not, our disappointments are lessened. We'll get to our goal eventually. Stress is a part of life, yes, but letting it consume you is a choice. It's tied in with what we want and what we think it's all supposed to look and feel like. The older I get the more I realize that's just a fantasy that doesn't exit. Yes, we can have dreams and hopes. But life rarely looks like it sounds on paper. People get sick, life savings are lost, businesses crumble, cars break down, kids are constant, travel is postponed, we don't always get what we want. Life is messy and difficult and unpredictable. We never know when something will come along and try to take us out at the knees. Our strength and faith are constantly tested. And that's OK, because if you go thru life thinking those things won't happen, you'll surely set yourself up for disappointment.
My sister-n-law's brother was called one day while he was out of town and was told his wife and daughter were in a serious car accident and were being life-lighted to different hospitals. They weren't sure if his teenage daughter, who was driving, was still alive. He was pulled over on his way to the hospital and explained to the policeman why he was speeding. He asked the officer to pray with him and was given an escort. Before he even knew the extent of their injuries he told his father, "If they're still alive, we'll get thru it - no matter what, we'll get thru it." I see that kind of strength in others and it breaks me down. If there's anything in this life worth striving for, it's not luxuries or successful businesses or dream houses or granite countertops or traveling or fancy cars or anything else money can buy...it's having the strength of character to know that we can survive whatever comes along in our lives. Because truly, what doesn't break us, makes us stronger. And its at that moment, that we're really living.