I have for the better part of 8 years been an over-sharer. Hello! I have a blog! For years my only outlet has been to write about life, write about its joys, its struggles, the good, the ugly…the life I was given. But writing your life out there for all to see comes with its criticism. You’ll always have someone who thinks you did it wrong, or say things like, “how can you be upset when you’ve got all this?” or “you just aren’t grateful enough to know how great you got it”, usually from my childless friends.
Please remember it takes a village to raise a child and when you are without your village, it’s even harder. Moving to Colorado has been pretty hard on me because my village disappeared. It reminded me of the days parenting my 3-year-old and six-month-old. I didn’t have any mom friends then. The days were long and my time around another adult was only like 10 percent of my day. I had cried to my husband about how hard and unsatisfied with this life, I was. But this was the life I wanted. He said, “you just need some friends”. I said, “But how can I go hang out with friends with this thing attached to my boob?” That’s when I found my village. My village of fellow over caffeinating wine drinking moms who occasionally run. I hadn’t had much help with my kids until I met them and it wasn’t that these people came in and helped. It was usually an exchange like I’ll watch your kids if you watch mine kind of thing. It was amazing and supportive and just wonderful.
So leaving that has been tough. Like you all know my whole life I’ve been the girl without a village. So when you have it, its great, and when you realize what you no longer have it stings a lot. But this is the part where I grow stronger and I realize my own strengths. You always grow stronger when you are tested.
I’ve also realized that life is really not about what you hope it to be. Life is a series of ups and downs and twists and turns and you’ll have years of easy-going happiness, and years of pain and struggle and it’s just all part of living. My peaks may be in someone else’s valleys. My peaks were last year. I was so happy with life last year, but my husband was struggling. He was in those valleys. He is now loving life here and is on a peak. I’m trying to catch up still stuck in this valley. I’m climbing out though. I’m realizing the beauty of my surroundings. I’m appreciating what I have and cherishing the memories, even if some make me cry and think of my long-lost village.
It’s really strange living here. We are so far away from things, yet so close to things at the same time. For Scott, he always wanted to live in the mountains of Colorado. We are an hour and ten minutes from Aspen, a 25-minute drive from three lakes and some beautiful waterfalls, 2 hours from the Maroon Bells and various other national and state parks, but for me, I’m like, “Great, but where’s the nearest sushi bar?” I need my sushi fix! We are an hour away from restaurants that aren’t fast food. No malls here or shopping of any sort except if it’s Wal-Mart and we have one grocery store. There are a few thrift stores and antique stores and a Family Dollar, but that’s it. Target is 30 minutes away, and it’s not like I will drive 30 minutes away just to go to Target. At least no one can take Amazon away from me, but having no Sam’s Club or Costco nearby kinda sucks.
It’s all an adjustment.
Scott and I were lying in bed watching some Youtube videos and there’s a particular set of people we follow who are nomads living in their RVs traveling from place to place all the time. They live very minimally. There’s this one chick I’m really taken with. I am amazed at her ability to see things I would think “suck”, as an adventure. She lives in an RV by herself with a dog. She used to go to NAU but probably not back when I was at NAU. She’s a woman who does it all herself. She had to replace her motor home’s toilet and re-floor it. She did it all by herself. She just looked at books and manuals and figured it out. She Youtubed it for us all to see and showed us all how to do it. She had the best attitude! I probably would have had a massive melt down if I were her. It got me to thinking about a quote that I always keep in the back of my head for when the going gets rough. “Life is only 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” Just thinking about this quote again has helped me over the last few days to see things in a much better light.
Instead of looking at how far away things are that I’ve considered staples in my life, I can look at the adventurous roads we have to take to get there. Instead of complaining about a 30-minute commute, I can appreciate the beautiful Colorado river and the green mountains that run along its path, marvel at the horses, cows, and farmland I pass by and appreciate all the work farmers put in to raising food, the same food that I eat.
A good attitude leads to a good life. A bad attitude leads to a bad life. It’s really simple and when you let bad emotions consume you, you can’t appreciate the good ones as much.
Some of the best times I’ve had in Colorado have been our little day trips with my family. A few weeks ago we went to see the Continental Divide and the little-abandoned mining town of Independence. The drive is one of the prettiest ones in Colorado. There are mountain ranges as far as the eye can see along with waterfalls, lakes, rivers, and streams. It’s all right here pretty much in our back yard. There’s so much beauty that we don’t have to drive very far to see. So what I’m learning is to replace the things I miss with this beauty. While millions of commuters have to drive three or more hours to see this to get away from life at the office, we don’t have to.
It’s all about perspective. It’s not always looking at the negative. I mean sometimes life throws a lot at you at once. I sure have felt like life was throwing so much at us over the last six months that I didn’t know how much more I could take. But now I have the chance to start over again. It’s time to pick myself up, hold my chin high, count my blessings and make the best of things that I’ve seen as inconveniences.
Life is only as good as you see it.
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