It’s All Happenning…

Becoming a parent is definitely a rite of passage and I don’t know anybody who has gone through it who doesn’t get a deep and profound sense of ADULTHOOD from being a mom or a dad. Once we realize that we’re responsible for these initially helpless little human beings, we quickly identify all the ways we’ve still been pretending to be carefree and irresponsible and hopefully we grow up.

So now that I’m really an adult I keep having this realization about what life is and how different adulthood is from what I imagined it would be when I was a child.

When I was young I thought there was a clear and definite contrast between “right” and “wrong,” “good” and “bad,” “should” and “shouldn’t.” But as an adult all those boundaries seem blurry and grey. Sure, I still know what feels good and right to me, but I no longer have the misconception that my own values extend to the rest of the world. It’s more about what’s right for me in this particular moment, than it is about some universal Right.  In other words, as a young person things were black and white and now everything is shades of grey. I know I’m not the only one who has experienced this.

But that’s not the realization I most wanted to share. What I’ve realized is that I used to think that life was EITHER good or bad, happy or sad, exciting or boring. And now I realize that life is all of those things at the same time. Life is good AND bad AND happy AND sad AND exciting AND boring ALL AT THE SAME TIME!

Some examples:

1)     When I was five years old my parents divorced. I was glad that they no longer fought, but having two homes and two families was both wonderful and really hard for me.

2)    I moved away from my dearest friends so that I could be with my future husband.

3)    My daughter was born and my dear uncle Rick died before he ever got to meet her.

4)   I got to raise my own chicks and now collect fresh eggs from them and my daughter got salmonella from breathing their dust when she was a baby.

5)    I get to see clients face to face from around the world over Skype but I don’t get nearly enough hugs from my friends living nearby.

When I expand my awareness to the big wide world I see even more examples. Tragedies happen and then people come together to help the survivors. People go through unspeakable torture and imprisonment and then when interviewed later, say that they are grateful for the ordeal because it brought them an inner peace and strength they wouldn’t have otherwise.

I guess my point is, it’s all happening. All of it. The good, the bad, the ugly AND the unspeakably beautiful. And our job is to enjoy as much of it as we possibly can in our short time on this Earth.

So yes, your child is whining and screaming one minute and snuggling up whispering, “I love you,” the next. That’s just the way life is. It’s all jumbled together in a big stew. Everything is just thrown in together. And I am loving every minute of it (except when I’m not).

What do you think about the mixed bag that life is? Does the darkness help us appreciate the light? Or is it all just meaningless? Do you think it’s possible to divide the “negative” from the “positive”? Or does it all just end up together in the end? I would love to know your thoughts so please leave me a comment!

Warm hugs and the cold shoulder, Shelly

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