In the midst of said tough week, I had a project that I needed to work on for my faux-aunt/grandma, Mimi. Mimi has an aunt who is turning 90 this weekend, and she'd asked me to make a little book for her like someone had made for her on her recent 70th. It was "90 Reasons We Love our Aunt Rachel," and the list was compiled by lots of relatives. The reasons just needed to be written out and have simple illustrations added. I think that Mimi felt guilty that I was working on the book in the midst of a crisis, but really it was good for me. It gave me something exceedingly positive to focus on. I've never met the infamous Aunt Rachel, but reading all the reasons that people love her and admire her was inspiring. I'm now chomping at the bit to tag along to her birthday party because I want to meet her.
Then yesterday, Scarlet Lily sent around a forward that was a lady's list of lessons that life had taught her...the list reiterated so many of the things from Aunt Rachel's list it was a bit uncanny.
And last night I was reading Whole Living and there were articles on happiness and simplification that reinforced a lot of the same stuff.
And these are all qualities that I strive for in my life already. I wasn't reading about reinventing the wheel. I've been reading about things that already matter to me and my family. Things like accepting people and their differences. Things like welcoming people into your life and your home. Basic kindness. Maintaining a life that isn't overwhelmed with stuff...loving what you've got and letting go of the rest.
The whole point of this seemingly disjointed post is that sometimes, even when things suck, it's good to remember the good things. Sometimes you have to sit back and focus on who you are and who you want to be and how whatever crisis you're facing will become part of you. Not letting a crisis define you. Aunt Rachel's book had the following as a reason that some anonymous family member loved her, "As a young mother she faced heartache and hardship. She looked at it as a bump in the road." Yesterday's email list put it this way, "Frame every so called disaster with these words: In five years, will this matter?" Sometimes those bumps, those disasters are big. Sometimes they really do matter. But those things are pretty few and far between. Most stuff really is just a bump in the road.
It's not the stuff or the situation that matter. At least I don't think so. I think it's how we deal with them that matters. And that means how we deal with the people in our lives. How we support and love each other. Because the one thing that has shown up in all these random lists and articles is just that: it's our relationships that matter. Our family. Our friends. Not our stuff. Not our little league soccer games. Not the spots on the sofa. None of that is important.
This actually isn't a seemingly disjointed post, it is terribly disjointed. The point is that I've been reminded recently that good friends and family that's there for you...that's important. Love and support are important. And I'm blessed to have all of that in spades. I hope you are, too.