My view, as I type this.Today I realized I am living the dream.
I am sitting in my nice warm house. It's a wonderful, quirky, special old house. And the view? It doesn't get better!!!
I have three amazing children. Carter talks (we were once told he would not), writes stories, has a beautiful desire for justice and equality, and even at the age of 9 has a wildly fantastic imagination. Harrison is empathetic, creative, brilliant, and one of the most friendly people I know, with an insatiable desire to learn new skills each day. Seraphina is alive (we thank God for this every single day!)- she is smart, happy, and so adorable, we don't remember what life was like BFee.
I get to stay home! I get to bake any time I want. I get to sew any time I choose. I get to homeschool my amazing kids and offer them such a unique educational experience, custom fit to their ability levels and learning styles! I get to buy groceries, make dinners, and feed my family whatever I want. I get to clean my house and make it beautiful and welcoming. I get to see my friends, call my mom, and take day trips whenever I want.
I am married to the perfect man for me, who loves our children wholly and their mother passionately. He loves his job and (97% of the time) comes home happy- fulfilled at work and excited to come home. He is hard working, determined, and visionary.
I get to read whatever I want, whenever I want. I get to snuggle my fuzzy kitty cats. I get to game on our well-built (thanks to Kurt) computers. I get to visit the Temple, go to the fudge shop, or visit the library just by taking a few steps out my door.
I have a degree in a field that inspires me. I have friends that help me grow as a person. As a woman in America, I have so much freedom in what I do and choose to be. I am free to attend the Church of my choice, voice my opinions, educate my children, and visit places in the community without fear for my life or safety. If a member or my family is injured- we have access to immediate life-saving medical attention.
I am living the dream!
Do I feel like this every moment of every day?
But if we all sat down and listed our blessings- even if they are as simple as, "I have food in my pantry and a dinner plan for tonight," "I have two arms, two legs, and two working eyes and ears," or "I have the most amazing memories!" it really can help put things in perspective. I am not talking about going through the motions. I am talking about putting ourselves in someone else's shoes, and outwardly observing our lives as the blessings they really are.
I had originally sat down and written a second part to my "living the dream" segment. Item for item it was all the negative things that I could say about each thing I had listed as being something I loved and as a blessing. Yes, I have sweet kitties- but they have times where they fight and make me want to pull my hair out, they are expensive, they shed, they make me obsessively vacuum, they require vet visits and flea treatments. Yeah, I get to homeschool my kids- but there are times where I Google boarding schools and imagine how quiet things would be if they were all off at Hogwarts and I had time alone! There are days where I have to call another homeschooling mom, and cry- actually cry- because things are going so poorly in a certain subject or a certain topic. It did not take long before listing these negative aspects started to depress me... you know, life is not easy... for anyone.
So why is this living the dream?
Because this was always my dream.
I always wanted to live in Nauvoo. From the moment I first visited here in 2001, I was passionate about this amazing city. Now that I am here and part of this amazing community, I am living the dream.
I always wanted romance. My truck is running better than it has in years. I am married to a truly great man.
I always wanted to be a mother. I have loved children, and babysat and nannied for years and years. I desired to have kids, and from our third date Kurt knew I wanted the option to stay home and raise my children full time. I get to do that- I am a mother, a wife, and a homemaker (bonus points that my kids and husband are generally pretty awesome)- I am living the dream.
I have freedom. My time is truly mine. Sure, I have priorities and I have to-do lists- but I also have the freedom to completely scrap them all. We homeschool year round and even on most holidays, so I have the option to randomly take days, weeks, or even months off. Because of Flylady the house is nearly always clean and orderly without much effort, so I could literally take whole days and do whatever I want. I don't- because it's not really in my nature- but I have the freedom to, and really all I want is the option. Living the dream!
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and I know my life has meaning, purpose, and value- just as your life does! Any time I struggle with something- no matter what- I have resources and people there to help me. Prayer, scriptures, Visiting and Home Teachers, local Church leadership- all there any time. Uplifting messages, inspiring magazines, enlightening books and speeches- all available online for free. I also have the extremely rare privilege of living across from a Temple. In most religions featuring sacred structures, living in such a proximity would be reserved for leaders, elite, or wealthy individuals of the community. I am none of those things, and still I get to live a stones throw from sacred ground. I am living the dream!
Thanksgiving can be an amazing time of year, but it can also be a really difficult time for a great many people. Daily struggles are very real. Burdens, trials, and hardship are something that touch all of us. My prayer is that this Thanksgiving, we are all able to reach deep within ourselves, and grasp onto the goodness in our lives. Hold on to the light and beauty all around. Search for things that are pleasing, and bring real joy. Find peace in the present. Share goodness.