My life is about ups and downs, great joys and great losses. ~Isabel Allende
Yesterday I got out early and did a 34 mile bike ride from Pacific Beach to Del Mar and back. It was a perfect morning riding along the coast and I got in a few hill climbs and intervals. I thought to myself more that once “this is the life.” And it is. Sure I had a pile of work waiting for me when I returned and I stayed up until 11pm the night before working but here I am with the flexibility to be where I want to be and do what I want to do while most people are commuting to work. But of course at the end of that reflection there is always the reminder that life will never be as good as it could have been…
It’s crazy how when you look you can see the meaning in everything. As I explained in my last post my life is based around moving forward through the clouds of fear.
Axel was born on February 15th and died on February 28th. Love and loss. Up and down. Joy and pain. Light and dark. All wrapped into one month.
Part of me wants February to be removed from the calendar. Things would be much easier that way. But sometimes if you want the good you sometimes have to work through the bad. If I dismiss the entire month I’m dismissing the joy of bringing Axel into this world and the continued joy that each February brings to us. So while I don’t push the thought away that “life could be better,” I also don’t dwell on it any longer than what feels right at the time. And when it passes it doesn’t take over my entire day, week, or month.
Feb 28th will never be a good day but I do think every other day in the year needs to be lived with intent. And with intent comes great joy and the ability to build resilience.
If I had to pick one statement I hear the most it’s “You’re so strong, I don’t know how you do it.” Meaning how do I continue to find joy, move (mostly) positively through life and continue on? It’s intent. Life can’t always be happy but it can be interesting. And sometimes an interesting life is hard. But when you’re exposed to life you’re building up that strength and resilience. And sometimes I can’t do it. There are days I just have to pat myself on the back for getting through the day accomplishing 1/4 of my to-do list. Sound familiar? Sometimes building strength comes from giving yourself a break and rewarding yourself for getting dressed. Or riding your bike instead of working. Or playing with your kids instead of cleaning.
You’ll never know how strong you are until you have to use it. You can’t imagine it and you can’t think your way through it before it happens. We all have this reserve tank of strength waiting to be used when needed. You just have to fill it up by getting out there and living.