a beautiful mess

by ann

chalkboard table art inspired by Lily & Val

The ball drop at New Year’s Eve pales in comparison to the feelings of renewal that autumn brings. There’s no hubbub for fall, no sequined skirts or sparklers. I like that. The season is subtle; it creeps up on you with a gentle nip. School has already begun but the air is crisp with new beginnings.

In this year, I want to grow in my appreciation. It is easy to become lost in the trivialities, frustrated at the every day struggles of living. Oh, I know how easy it is to complain but sometimes I step outside of myself and just want to shove those negative words back into my mouth. I want to tell myself to stop. Take those insecurities and worries in stride. Recognize that, yes, life is complicated. (It isn’t easy to get good grades. It is a struggle to maintain a school/life balance, to have time to develop and maintain relationships and really listen when people talk, to repress the urge to multitask because you love this person but you also have a growing to do list and, oh, how the clock keeps on ticking. You want to go out into the world: travel, meet people, eat delicious foods and suck in that life-sustaining air off of sky high mountains but you know going out into the world sadly requires money, which is very real life and not quite so enthralling..)

And then see the joy in where you are and what you have.

In a few months time, my sister Amy will be having a baby girl. Have you ever heard of mudita? It’s the Buddhist practice of sympathetic joy, to take delight in other people’s well-being. Our little family has been in the clouds since we first found out Amy was pregnant. I have been in awe watching my sister’s belly grow quietly. I want to grasp these moments and squeeze them with an intensity to match the burning ache of happiness I feel. Yet what is it about blessings that make me more fearful of the fragility of life? I am shaken by all that I have been given.

Life is a beautiful mess.