Perspective is Everything …

31 Jan

I was cleaning up files, and discovered this post from 2012 that some how never got published.  The irony is that the title became even more relevant as I was able to look back at this moment almost two years later.  It was a really rough time, and I am so grateful that I am able to say all is looking up from where we were then.  We still struggle in one way or another.  I suppose we all do.  But, indeed, particularly in hindsight, I understand even better … perspective is everything.

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It would be pretty fair to say that my family has had our fair share of unfortunate events.  We have been hit financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually.  In most worlds this covers just about every front.  Some days it seems like as soon as we get a handle on one problem, another one crops up.  Then again, on other days we don’t even seem to get that chance, and find ourselves juggling a couple of serious issues simultaneously.  These circumstances will occasionally lead me down the road of a self-indulgent pity party, and to be fair I think everybody needs a party sometimes.  More often, however, I am reminded by others how unlucky I am.  Friends will point out the trials our family has endured most indicate that some stars have been seriously knocked out of alignment or some freakish weather front has allowed storm clouds to stalk us like a lunatic fan.  I have to be careful in these instances not to succumb to their perspective.   It is easy when provided an outside perspective to feel incredibly unlucky and question what actions or circumstances have led you to a place that seems so inconsistent with the peace and comfort that so many others enjoy.

I was on the cusp of one of these wallowing moments this morning.  I was chugging down the road in my vehicle that is literally crying out for repairs, discouraged by my morning visit with my mother who is recovering from a several cerebral aneurysm and stroke, overwhelmed with paperwork and taxes that needed done and uncertain about how we would ever be able to pay the bills that were piling up on a newly reduced paycheck.  I had everything in place, and was only missing the beer to kick this party off.  I am not certain how my perspective was altered.  It may have been the sunshine, or maybe the recollection of an encounter with a mentally ill, homeless women earlier in the day.  I think most likely it was the sight of the garden center however.  I know, how strange is that.  Garden centers aren’t normally the source of insight and perspective, but today it served as a reminder.

jeffBecause of my mother’s medical situation we have been unable to maintain our regular household responsibilities.  One of the things that has been neglected is my husband’s garden.  The garden is not only a source of yummy spring and summer produce, but a point of pride and enchantment for him.  This year in particular, because of some of our financial issues, Jeffrey had spent a lot of additional time creating strategies, designing layouts, ordering seeds and making sure that everything was in place for a particularly successful gardening year.  On February 22nd though, much of his planning had to be set aside as we received the call that my mother had suffered a ruptured aneurysm.  Jeff has tried over the last 2 months to make the best of the situation, and has restarted his seedlings several times only to watch them die from neglect.  This morning he discovered that a new set of his seedlings had died in their hot house for lack of water.  With much of his financial resources gone and the calendar indicating that where he had been ahead and prepared, he was now behind and falling short.

On my drive past the garden center it occurred to me that I had a small portion of money in my budget and that I could buy some plants for him to try to cheer him up and bring back some of his gardening delight.  It was in this instant that I was given the perspective necessary to persevere onward.  How incredibly blessed am I to have any money in the bank?  Just this morning a friend met a need I had, saving me at least $70, which better ensured that money could be spent on Jeffrey.  How incredibly blessed am I to have friends that support me?  Jeffrey’s seedlings have died because he has been with me … because he has been helping my mom and dad … because he has picked up the pieces I have dropped while distracted with my own efforts to care for my mom.  How WILDLY blessed am I to have this kind of man in my life?

eggplantWe will still struggle.  I have no expectations of our financially difficulties resolving themselves anytime soon.  I have worries that my mother’s recover will be exceptionally long and question all the time how much better she will get.  My children will continue to present challenges as they move through the stages of life.  Machines will break.  Pets will die.  People will disappoint us.  Jobs will be lost.  But I praise God for all the blessings I have in my life – a family that cares for me, friends that watch after us, parents that are alive and able to love me.  No matter what the weather, I will choose to rejoice in my blessings rather than wallow in my misfortune.

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One Response to “Perspective is Everything …”

  1. P Zwirnbaum January 31, 2014 at 11:48 pm #

    Joyc-arie,

    I’ve told daddy so many times he must be tired of it, but I’m so sorry for what you all went through with me. I know it must have been hard. You had it much worse than I did…I was oblivious.
    It also seems that Jeff always steps up…never says much, just steps up. That makes him a son-in-law to cherish.

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