There are certainly moments in life that make sense to try and control like a cookie recipe, a quadratic formula or the amount of exclamation points on a text to a new crush. As I continue to learn how to let life happen on its terms and not my own, however, I'm reminded of my desire to control everything. I think there’s some kind of security in a controlled world and that’s part of the problem. You see, if there's anything I have learned from my dad's battle with cancer it's that the majority of life is spent with some kind of snag in the tapestry of "perfect." So if you are awaiting ideal circumstances to fully enjoy life, you may be waiting quite some time.
Then again, you can accept the fact that change is the only constant in your entire life and rather than fight it by holding on tight to your rigid expectations, embrace the option of just surrendering. And it is in that state where you can take pleasure in the little, blue bird moments. Most people wait until a storm is ending to see the light at the end of the tunnel or only start smiling again when the rainbow is already on its way. But what we don't realize is that life is a marathon, not a sprint, and in that long race we are certain to encounter our fair share of disappointments, hurt feelings, heartbreaks, failures, and an array of other not-so-lovely moments. The challenge is to not let these overshadow or invalidate the really sweet moments.
Last week, I was on the way to see my dad in Houston and it was one of those days where everything from the moment you wake up goes wrong. After being caught in Houston rush hour traffic, I showed up to pick up a prescription and had to sit in a random Walmart waiting room for two hours. Rather than throw a fit, wine about how annoying my day was, and listing off every offense that had occurred, I ended up talking to an 82-year-old grandpa who had just gotten custody of his two-year-old granddaughter. His life was fascinating to say the least and yet his dedication to be the best "daddy" in the game to that little girl was unbelievably inspiring. I was better for having crossed paths with him and I may have never had the pleasure if it weren't for a mishap at the pharmacy.
My dad's cancer could certainly be the black cloud that I allow to rain on anything and everything, but there are beautiful bouquets of flowers that have sprung up in the midst of this rainy season of my life. So, I'm appreciative and choose to revel in the beautiful, blue bird moments. No we can' t control life, people, circumstances or even the future (trust me, I've certainly tried), but you can choose which situations you turn the volume up on and which ones you let silently slip by.
Life isn't perfect, but it is messy and complicated, extraordinary and heartbreaking, exciting and often non-newsworthy. It's up to you how you experience it. So my challenge for all of us is to let go, even if just for today. Take a deep breath and believe that it all works out exactly as it should. And make sure you seek out your own little blue bird moments.
Images courtesy of Community.breastcancer.org, Blogs.villagevoice.com