Sunday, August 23, 2009

Don’t worry, be happy. Can we please try to live by this?


I don’t mean to sound like a cliché but if you’re handed lemons, you can choose to make delicious lemonade!

I’m not saying that people don’t have issues that warrant negativity from time to time. It’s perfectly alright to have a bad day. And when people hurt you, it makes sense that it will affect your life.

But eventually, one day, try to think of the bigger picture. I see it as a form of meditation – of putting yourself in your place and everything else in its place and seeing how small you are and how magnificent the universe is. Put things into better perspective and suddenly the world isn’t quite as daunting.

Life really is short, even if you live to be 100 years old – it flies by. Take advantage of what you’ve been given. Life is precious and CAN be wonderful if you let it be. If you truly want it to be.

For a few years before James and I decided to have a baby, I thought long and hard about whether it was ‘worth it’ or a good idea to bring a child into this world. We had many long talks about this topic for a number of years in our relationship before we got married. I went back and forth on it a lot. Sometimes I would get that instinct that, although not right away, I HAD TO HAVE A CHILD. Then I would go cold and think WHY ON EARTH WOULD I BRING ANOTHER PERSON INTO THIS EFFED UP WORLD? I have my pessimistic side to me, after all. BUT ultimately I did, obviously, settle on the positive and knew in my heartest of hearts that I wanted to have a baby. To bring a new life into the world and let them experience the world, both good and bad – but hopefully mostly good.

Because while I do feel sadness and pain and I know there are many dark clouds out there among us, I also deep down truly do believe that the world has so much goodness to offer. I feel so grateful to have been given this opportunity to LIVE. To experience the world in my own way. It has its moments for sure but WOW, I am ALIVE! And now that I have a child, I feel like I HAVE to believe in the good that is out there because if I can’t hold onto that faith (and I’m not talking religious faith, but faith in others and myself) then why did I bring another person into it?

I look at Andrew and I see this whole new life that has only just begun and it’s EXCITING. Yet, he WILL go through horrible things in his life and I can’t deny him that pain. When I was pregnant with him I vowed to myself (obviously not thinking realistically) that I would do everything in my power to make sure he was never sad or hurt in any way. Then he came out and started to cry and I realized – babies cry! Kids cry! Adults cry! It happens. Of course, Andrew doesn’t cry a lot because I (and others) nurture him, love him, want the best for him. He must know he is being taken care of because he’s content and is not denied any amount of care and attention. BUT he does fall down and he does sometimes bang his head on things when he falters trying to stand. He cries. He does wake up from a nap and he for some reason HATES waking up from his naps so he cries. He teethes and it’s painful and he cries. He’s hungry or has a full diaper and cries. These things are small potatoes compared to other difficulties he will experience in his life – such as the death of loved ones. The death of me, his mom, and the death of his dad. Those are going to be tragic experiences. Ones I am not looking forward to dealing with either (me and James’ deaths aside, the ending of my own parents’ lives is too hard to even picture in my mind). It breaks my heart to think Andrew will have to deal with such strife in his lifetime. But I also know he will be strong and will handle whatever he is faced with. He might go through hard times but I wanted to bring him into the world because I have faith that the happy and wonderful memories we will create together – and that he will create with others and for himself – will make everything worth it.

I hope to bring him up to be an upstanding citizen – as in, someone who abides by the law yet thinks critically and isn’t afraid to ask questions and stand up for what he believes in. I hope he will be helpful and kind and a person who plays a positive role in others lives (he is already doing this!) I hope more than anything that he is happy as I believe that just the happy vibes alone that we each send out into the atmosphere have a positive influence on the universe as a whole.

I have some major stresses in my life right now – but don’t we all. These situations could be worse, but they could also be a whole lot better. It can be hard to deal with at times, but I’m working at being as positive as possible. Even though times can be tough, it’s important to create things to look forward to. And if you start to falter on the positivity scale, remind yourself that you’re not invincible. None of us are going to be here forever. So why spend our time wasting away with worry when we could be experiencing all the amazing sides to life?

2 comments:

Lojo Beautiful said...

I really, really enjoyed this post, Liz.

I have also done much "yay or nay" contemplation about bringing a child into the world, but over the last year my perspective has swung and solidified and I now see parenting as a true gift.

The city I live in now has a very small town mentality and many people whom I've met here settled down before they were truly ready to do so. Hearing their stories has reiterated the fact that having children does not just mean taking care of a chubby cheeked baby, but also means parenting a mischievous eight year old, an angst filled sixteen year old, etc. It means being there for this person through good and the ugly, and giving them the tools so no matter what, they can get through it the best they can (and hopefully make the world a better place). Sometimes when I feel frustrated or depressed after hearing stories from disgruntled parents who still want to be kids themselves, I do find renewed positivity when I think of you and James-- a strong couple who waited until they were truly ready to embrace a new life to the fullest. It really is good for the soul to see.

I don't know if I will ever have the opportunity to become a parent, as I know that it is something I will never purposely choose to do unless I am in a settled and solid relationship. I do hope that I someday get that opportunity to give to another life in the fullest. It really is the most important thing a person can do in his or her life. However, I have also realized that if it doesn't happen for me (while it will be hard for me to accept at times), that's okay, too. As you've just implied in this post, you just have to make the best of whatever path you are on and try to live your life to the fullest.

Again, thanks for a great post :)

ELIZABETH said...

Thanks for this comment Lindsay!

We were so fortunate to have had everything fall into place how we wanted it. Being able to plan out when we wanted to have a baby made all the difference. We were watching a show the other day where there was an unplanned pregnancy and the parents-to-be were talking about it like it was a chore and didn't know what to do about it. I just couldn't imagine what that would be like. I didn't have to 'break' the news to James that he would be a dad - we both would have been disappointed if there hadn't been a plus sign on the pregnancy test!

And it makes a HUGE difference to have had all that time to just live our lives, be selfish if we wanted to, and spend time on ourselves and be 'free' so to speak. That way we have no regrets. I miss certain freedoms sometimes for sure but the positives of having Andrew far outweigh any negatives. If I was way younger and hadn't had any life of my own yet and found myself with a child to care for, I think I'd be pretty resentful.

I think you're going to do amazing things in your life, whether that includes having children or not. I think you'll be a great mom if life does steer you in that direction. But whatever you do, I know you'll make the most of it!



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