This year, the year that I am 38 years old, I have a new motto. Want to hear it? Here it is:
Life is not that serious.
Your dad doesn't share this motto. He's in his 4th year of a 5 year residency, looking down the barrel at a pretty big exam in a not-so-distant and ever-nearing future, while handling the life and death of his patients day in and day out. Life is pretty serious for him right now. And that's okay.
But for me? I have a job I love that offers me very little in the way of stress. I have a husband I love, a daughter I am head-over-heels smitten with and a dog who's the worst but we love him anyway. Our little family has a roof over our heads in a fantastic neighbourhood with fantastic neighbours. We have food on the table and amazing shops and restaurants we can (sort of) afford to enjoy. You go to a wonderful school with wonderful teachers and are learning so much so quickly it makes my head hurt. We live in a safe city in a great country with loads of resources for families. We get to go on vacations, we get to pursue hobbies, we get to greet each other every morning and kiss each other good night every evening. For me, life is not that serious. It's seriously sweet.
Having said that, there is a reason that I needed a motto to come up with in the first place. You see, sometimes I take things too seriously. Or, to be more accurate, I take almost everything way too seriously almost all of the time. I have no perspectacles. Do you know what those are? Those are special imaginary glasses you wear that give you a beautiful view of the BIG PICTURE, so that you don't go losing your mind over things that are not worth the crazy. (A very wonderfully wise woman came up with that term. You would do well to learn as much as you can from her.) So this new motto of mine, it's an attempt to find my perspectacles, and to keep this elusive BIG PICTURE in mind as often as possible.
Not everything is an omen of terrible things to come. Not everything is teetering on a slippery slope toward doom. Things might be just wonderful next time, even if this time they were very, very bad. THINGS ARE OKAY. I read an interesting article the other day, saying that most people who believe that they are in the middle of terrible, horrible periods of their lives are actually OKAY from moment to moment. You may be going through a divorce, but at this moment you are grocery shopping and you are doing okay. You may have a new cancer diagnosis, but you have just finished reading your kids a bedtime story and you are okay. We all have times of struggle, and sometimes those struggles are intense, but we are STILL OKAY. And we can smile.
These ideas are so easy to type, and so hard to live. But I believe that the only true meaning of life is to find joy for yourself, and to make joy for others. We are lucky enough to begin life, lucky enough to live it, but not quite lucky enough to get out of it alive, so we might as well enjoy that luck until it runs out.
I wish you joy, peace and lots and lots of laughter. I wish you a lifetime shared with your greatest loves. Life is not that serious, but it is beautiful.