This morning I sent my fourth grader off to camp for three days and came home to find my otherwise perfect dog had pooped on the family room rug. Then, for the first time while feeding my two parakeets, one flew out of the cage, hit the living room window and died a few moments later. This was all before 8:00 am.
I have a good life. I say my prayers with true thanksgiving; I happily kiss my husband every night, and I am proud of the time I spend with my son and how I’m raising him. So why is it, in a matter of minutes I went from thinking about enjoying a few nights alone with my husband to contemplating the effects of death? It didn’t take long to hear the familiar voice in my head.
“Because this IS life, sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not. Life is learning, dealing, teaching, helping, working, and enjoying. Not all at the same time, not all everyday.”
I hear his voice in my head when I want to, and sometimes when I don’t want to, but need to. Some people call it the voice of reason, or one’s conscience. My sister Linda and I believe it’s our connection with source energy. Whatever you choose to believe it is, one thing remains the same.
Each one of us has an entire world wrapped up inside a skin-covered package. Each one of us is as important as the next. For years now I’ve made a habit of showing it in ways like the below:
I smile at the cashier working the drive-thru window, and I mean it when I say thank you. She could have a sick child or parent at home.
I let the guy driving way too fast pass me; he could have just gotten a call from the hospital with bad news. His plan is not to enrage me personally.
I respectfully hold the door open for older people even when they move slowly. I think about how fast the world must seem to them now, and realize I may be the only kind stranger they have seen in days.
I listen to children the same as adults. Their stories may not have experience behind them, but their feelings are just as deep as yours and mine.
While I kissed my ten-year-old goodbye this morning, I felt nervous that he’d be away for three days. A few minutes later I felt angry as I stepped in a pile of poop, then a few minutes after that, I felt sorrowful as I picked up my favorite bird for the last time and stroked his lifeless body.
Like I said before, I know I have a good life, and I realize bad things happen. Right now, I’m reminding myself that “good” does not mean, “perfect”.
I will be thankful for all the good things in my own imperfect life.