Wednesday, January 12, 2011

To blog or not to blog....

This is mostly just stream of consciousness with very little pictures.  (in other words, feel free to go ahead and skip it; as my sister says, I won't judge.)   :)
So the last 6 months or so I've been wondering about this blog - I try to be careful about too much detail and information about my family (Joseph's brother thinks I'm nuts to even put my kids faces on an unsecured internet site).  So I didn't blog much about how Joseph was traveling a lot last Spring looking for a job.  And I didn't blog about all the turmoil that went along with looking for that job.  Dentists tend to get a job and stay put, you know?  And we've never stayed put in all our married lives - and to be quite honest, the thought terrified me. :)  Especially as it turned out - we didn't get our first, our second, or even our third pick for location.  What we ended up with was a place that wasn't even on the list at all.  But we prayed and prayed and made lists of pros and cons and hashed it all out till we were blue in the face (figuratively) and decided that this out-of-the-way little town was really the best choice.  Along the way I learned beyond a doubt what a real NO felt like (that was dental practice serious option number 1), and then Joseph learned what a NO felt like (that was dental practice serious option number 2).  Time was running our, options were dwindling, and I kept waiting for the NO on this place, but it didn't come.
But it was pretty hard for me.  At first I was just too sad to blog -- generally speaking, I only blog about happy stuff. :)  I know that might seem like a pretty incomplete view of life, and I'm sure it is, but I stuck the disclaimer right there on the blog header - we're remembering the good times here!  I am an optimist and an editor - I write down painful lessons learned in my journal with all their maudlin details and save the blog for the cheerful, photo-opportune moments.  :)  And the flash on my camera was broken, and our new apartment has very little natural light, so even non-cheerful photo opps weren't happening!
Anyway, after being sad for a few months I had a little life-changing moment.  I'd spent the weekend in UT, surprising my dad for his 70 birthday.  We had a grand grand time - it was so lovely!  Mindy was there, and we laughed more in those 3 days than I think I had in 3 months.  It felt so good.  I cried all the long way home (2 hr. drive to the airport in the rental car, 1 hr flight to phoenix for the connection, 3 hour layover while the plane was repaired, 2 hr. flight to final destination, 1/2 hr. drive to friends' house for the night, sleep for 5 hrs, 1 1/2 hr. drive home.  That was a lot of crying!)  I continued to feel extremely sorry for myself for a couple days, then was asked to teach a lesson on gratitude for a midweek activity at church.  Great - most ungrateful person on the planet is going to teach gratitude, right?  But I know by now that those lessons are always for ME, not for anyone I'm teaching.
That lesson gave me the shift in perspective I needed to get out of my pity party.  This quote sums it all up:

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order,
confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home,
a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today
and creates a vision for tomorrow.
~Melody Beattie

So I am grateful for a good job for my husband - stressful at times, to be sure, and not where I wanted it to be, and very very busy - but good.  I am grateful that because of that good job, I can stay home with my kids and indulge in all kinds of introspection. :) I'm grateful that our home is small and imperfect, because it means we're saving money on rent, and hopefully someday we'll be able to put that extra money towards a house that won't be quite so small and quite to imperfect.  I'm grateful that our town is little, because it means that I won't be distracted by 2 million things (only 200), and I can focus on my family.  I'm grateful that I have a mother and father and siblings that I miss terribly, because that means that my home growing up was filled with love, and that love can (and does) stretch over time and space. I'm grateful for my 'job' - I've been accompanying up at the university here, and I'm enjoying it immensely.  It's so nice to have to practice again, to see the progress I can make, to challenge myself.  Having that extra responsibility has given me a sense of productivity I was really lacking.  And I'm even grateful that we've got a new 'home town' - unwanted-at-first though it was.  We feel welcomed and needed here, and it's the perfect time to build our own home, our own family, our own traditions and systems.  And I think this semi-sheltered small town will be a gentle sort of place in which to make small mistakes.  Which is really what we want for our family.  See, Heavenly Father DOES know what He's doing.  What a comfort!  So, of course, I'm grateful for answered prayers - even when the answer is an uncomfortable no or an even-more-uncomfortable yes, it all works out eventually.

So at first I was too sad to blog, then I got to busy to blog, and I didn't have many cute photos anyway.  :)  But I rather like jabbering at my family at the other end of the internet, so I think I'll keep going afterall.  At least occasionally!  :)