We’re down at our cabin, where life is slower and much quieter, and I’m thinking about a few things I can do starting today. I want to find beauty wherever I am. If I’m wending my way through a difficult spot, it’s still good to look up and see the sky and her many moods. Notice the people who subtly smile at us as we pass them in the store or on the street. I have this beautiful place we built in Kentucky and it feels remote, probably because it is, and beauty is out here and easy to grab. Back home, instead of seeing the many chores waiting for my hands to complete them, I need to find the beauty tucked into every corner. You too? Stop dusting and sweeping and sit down. Cut a slice of happiness and contentment for yourself.
Are you musing over resolutions? Are you looking backwards over your shoulder at everything the past year placed in your lap? Are you running away from some of it? And grasping firmly to the good? Do that. Absolutely, yes. 2018 brought me surprises; mostly pleasant but since this is real life, some unhappiness wandered onto my path too. But…I’m a believer in the power and freedom of forgiving and letting go. Just drop your anger and sadness, open your hands and receive all the beauty that’s within your reach.
My godmother divorced my uncle after 40 years of marriage, and since then their kids have been a house divided, and it’s only becoming worse. My aunt cannot forgive. She’s deeply unhappy and holds grudges for decades. Why? In my family we are often abrasive with one another, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not, but you know what? We forgive. Forgive for saying something hurtful and forgive for choosing to take things the wrong way. We all come from different perspectives, so when I tossed out the wine bottle at my parents’ house to help out, since it had barely an inch of wine left at the bottom, I didn’t know my dad was going to rage at me. I felt hurt and shocked.
My dad had been sentimentally keeping that bottle because he and he sister drank that wine right before she suddenly passed away. He kept the months old bottle as a tangible memory of her. I casually poured out the little bit of wine at the bottom and tossed away the bottle. His treasure, my trash. I didn’t know! After many tears and a slightly heated exchange, we forgave each other and I promised to never throw a single item out at my parents’ home. So yeah, I see the potato chips that expired three years ago, but my hands will not touch that bag. Forgiveness and peace. They’re so beautiful.
That handbag doesn’t exactly fit with the country vibe out here in the middle of nowhere, but I smile when I realize the incongruities in my life. We can be many things to many people, but let’s be real with ourselves. Embrace who you are. All the rough sides of you that still need polishing. Walk into the new year resolutely, determined to find happiness and beauty. Forgive. Learn. Love. I wish you a year full of wonder and beauty. Look for it. She’s there with you now, if you’ll only look…