There is a game I like to play called ‘The One Year’ game. On any given day I look at my life and ask : Where was I last year? Would I have ever thought I’d be where I am now? Would I have believed it if someone told me? Where will I be a year from now?
This game is played at least once every couple of months, but as the one year mark to my stay in Hillo made its steady approach I played it more than usual.
I was going to try and make it profound, but really, I’m not in the mood to wax poetic. So here are a couple of patches to maybe paint a picture of things that resonated.
- The Lainharts left in August. This was a difficult thing. Brother Lainhart gave one of the most memorable and special talks I’ve heard in a long, long time. He said that we were all like hymns- a song in essence. He said that we should develop our talents, because playing the same note over and over is no fun- hymns have different notes. He spoke how we should seek the other parts (our family) and be strengthened by them. He asked what we would like to sound like, and what we wanted our words to be. I cried a lot during the talk, and I miss them, but I’m sure they’re living it up in Wyoming.
- Amber came over at the end of August. It was good to have her here- we talked, and talked and talked some more. If my childhood theory of having a limited number of words I could say a certain number of times through out the course of my life had been true, I would’ve probably spent them all on Amber in the first few days she was here. Thank goodness she came though- I needed it badly.
- I am involved with Primary, which is the church’s organization for children. It is a great thing for me because it reminds me that a) happiness is really not that complicated b)neither is love c) and God is the least complicated of all. He loves everyone. End of story.My kids are also the best kids ever- even though my calling is sometimes stressful and makes me want to make thousands of paper cranes, I have some of the smartest, honest, exciting and loving little people in my life because of it. They are the best.
- Loosing all the things you thought you would never be able to go on without is not the end. So, I didn’t stay in the States. Affairs of the heart ended in one big, broken mess. I had to stop seeing my niece and nephew at regular intervals. I haven’t met my youngest nephew, I missed my sisters wedding, as well as countless of other special occurrences in the lives of those I love. But you know what? It’s okay. I’m finding out that loosing all those things is not really as bad as I thought it would be. I miss(ed) them, and I’m sad I’m missing them, but I’m starting to think there is no rock bottom, not in the sense that things are going to get worse, but in the sense that they are never anywhere near as bad as originally anticipated. Also, not knowing is scary.
But not knowing is life, and that’s a non-negotiable. The only thing you can negotiate in that transaction is how you choose to understand it.
- I can (and have been) happy ,even very happy, in spite (or maybe because of?) the current situation.
- Expectations are strange things. They are traps . I’ve learned that it’s important to have expectations but the moment you begin to specify (especially when other people are involved) you are making a big mistake. Let people surprise you with their goodness!
- Learning to bake might be the most therapeutic thing I’ve undertaken in a long time. When things seem so out of control, it’s good to know that you can measure exact amounts of flour, eggs, sugar and chocolate and come with an end result that pleases.
- Despite the fact that I am queen of assimilating, I will never like menudo and always love football. Go Cowboys!
- It’s essential to travel, even if it is just a get away to a small beach town an hour away from where you live. Argentina, Cancun, San Carlos and Kino were good places to find pieces of myself.
- Nothing will put things in perspective like almost dying. My hospital stint was one of the scariest, funnest things that happened. The good moments were good in proportion to how bad the bad moments were. It was a wake up call.
- Running is free therapy.
- When all else fails, find a good book, a comfortable place, and read. Troubles will still be there by the time you finish the last paragraph.
We went to El Cerro de la Campana on Sunday, September 5th to commemorate my one year mark. It was some kind of record on my part that I’d lived here for an entire year without making a pilgrimage to the hill- especially since it’s not very far from my current house.
As we were up there thinking about the year, wondering what I’d be doing a year from that time, the thought came to mind that even though it had been a hard year, it had also been really interesting. I’ve been so blessed to have an interesting life.
The course of my life has been so unexpected- just when I think I’ve got it all figured out, some big surprise change occurs and I find myself saying ‘I would’ve never in a thousand years have believed it if someone had told me I’d be doing this a year ago.’
Which makes me think: ‘I wonder what I’ll be doing next year?’.