This weekend has brought with it a lot of reflection, as well as a handful of stories via blog-surfing, that really knocked some sense into my hard head.
For the last two days I’ve been listening to the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Since college, I’ve always really looked forward to this weekend twice a year and have made a huge effort to watch all 8 hours of it. Since 2007 it has gotten progressively more difficult to listen with full intent, but I do my best because every time, without a doubt, it redirects my focus down the right path. And one day I hope all my babies will be teenagers who really look forward to and benefit from this weekend as well.
As I come close to the end of this conference, my head is spinning with confusion about how certain things can seem so important one moment and totally insignificant the next.
Before I forget precisely why I am posting this, I want to admit that my resentment towards people who don’t care about Zumba was entirely misdirected. In fact, I had a friend stop me in the grocery store yesterday and explain why she hasn’t been able to come the last couple of weeks. She told me she had been so sad to have to miss it because it is the highlight of her week. And not only that, her 5 year old daughter was so sad to miss it because she loves to come play with the other kids! My response — “Oh, don’t worry about it! I completely understand. I missed you!” — sounded sort of forced coming out of my mouth after what I posted the previous day. But I realized it was actually more true than I thought. Why did I start doing it again anyway? Not for the praise of people around me, but to hopefully build closer relationships with people I didn’t usually spend time with, and show them a way to be healthy in the process…if they were interested. Mission accomplished. If anything, my resentment should have been directed at myself for being disappointed that I couldn’t stick to my original purpose.
So what I said Friday was exactly what I said it was…venting. I had a strong emotion that somehow I needed to release, and it came out as anger towards people who I’m sure all had very logical reasons. I’m over it, hopefully for good. And I owe apologies to the innocent victims of my anger.
Now in the process of coming to this conclusion, I also came across two stories that just made me want to punch myself in the stomach for being so self-absorbed. One was this one about a little boy who survived drowning a couple of years ago. The other was this story about a mother of 5 children whose husband was shot in Boise, ID a few years ago by the husband of the woman he was having an affair with! Okay, I can’t think of very many things worse than either of those two scenarios. Except for maybe this one where the child didn’t survive the drowning. Or the story of the father whose car was was hit by a drunk driver, ending the life of two of his children and his wife who was 6 months pregnant. And of course the Nielsen family’s story is both tragic and inspiring. Don’t click on any of these links unless you’re ready and willing to invest a significant amount of time retracing the steps of their tragic stories as you mourn with them. You have been warned.
At this very moment, I have a good friend who is at Primary Children’s hospital with her 2 year old daughter who is undergoing a clinical trial for a very rare form of leukemia. While they were very blessed to have caught it when they did and to have made it into this trial (she was #75 in a trial that only had room for 75!), they have a very long road ahead. And not only that, but she has a pre-teen daughter with autism who she had to leave at home with friends and family.
All of these stories are incredible examples of faith and forgiveness. Today as I look at my life it almost seems unfair that I’ve had it so easy. And it scares me what could lie ahead in order for me to learn these principles. Maybe you’ve heard the concept that if everyone were to put their trials into a pile in the middle of a room, you’d be quick to pick your own back up?
No, Multiple Sclerosis is not fantastic, but would I choose it over cancer? Yes, of course.
Yes, having 4 kids within 5 years has been very physically and emotionally demanding. But would I prefer to not be able to have children? Or would I have chosen a career instead if I could go back? Definitely not.
I understand that my Father in Heaven knows and loves me and has designed my life, with all its joys and challenges, specifically with my potential and progression in mind. I’m really trying to find joy in MY journey and not envy someone else’s journey. I’d love to constantly have an “attitude of gratitude” not only for my blessings and times of ease, but for the hard times that make me stronger.