Monday, August 26, 2013

Free Printable | The Grass Is Always Greener

This past weekend, Niels was gone all day Saturday picking up our new car. One of the perks of working for his company is that we are able to purchase former fleet cars at a great discount. The only catch is that you have to pick up the car in the region where it was in use. The last car we bought was in Pennsylvania, so we were able to drive together to get it. (Fun fact: this is when we learned that I can no longer drive in the dark...or rain!)

For our new car, Niels flew to Albany, NY and then drove the new car home. He had eight hours to bond with "Otto Bahn."

Having a full day with my son is wonderful, of course, but living with a brain injury means that I need a lot of rest and breaks. Not always part of the parenting package, for sure! For our family, a typical day means that I stay home with D all day and make dinner. When Niels comes home between 6 and 6:30, he is on duty. Not that I am uninvolved with our family after Niels gets home, but it does my brain good to know that I can get some time to myself to rest, catch up on Facebook, work on a craft or do something to recharge.

I'm coming off a month of not-so-good health days. First, I had an infection, then I had an allergic reaction to my antibiotics, which led to other issues (including two trips to the ER), and finally culminated in one of the worse headaches I've had in awhile (living with a brain injury, that says a lot because I always have a little headache). After four days in bed, the headache became tolerable and then I had to deal with some crushing fatigue as my brain recovered from the headache. And this is how I was feeling when Niels left to get the new car. Not the most ideal timing. D and I managed pretty well, but let me tell you, I missed my man! And being alone all day and night made me appreciate all that he does to keep our little family together when I'm not able to do much at all.

I've been chewing on this post written by Julia of Hooked on Houses for a few weeks. Since then, I've noticed more bloggers writing about envy and feeling overwhelmed or dissatisfied when they compare themselves to others or scroll through their Pinterest feed. I think one of the blessings of living with a brain injury is that in order to embrace your new normal, you must learn to let go of expectations. Each day is a lottery. I never know if it will be a good day or a bad day. Even on a great day, I'm never going to get every done I want to get done because there's too much catching up on all the things that slipped by on a much more frequent bad day or even fair day. My mantra is "All I can do is all I can do, and that's all I can do."

I find sites like Pinterest to be inspirational. I get lots of ideas for quilting, cooking, and organizing. I assume that the folks who pin to Pinterest are pinning their best ideas on their best days. I'm certain that if I crash their houses (and know that if they crash mine), there will likely be clutter on the counters, toys on the floor, and other evidence that the homes they take such care to decorate are actually lived in by real people.

Before my brain injury, I was a writer. My first book, Generation Ex (<-- Amazon affiliate link) outlines the long-term effects of divorce on children (including adult children). I wrote a lot about marriage because the idea of marriage can be pretty scary when you've learned more about how marriages end than how they are sustained. Out of necessity, Niels and I spend most every day together. In fact, in six years, we've only spent two nights apart, and then, only when I had someone else spend the night with D and I. Niels has made marriage ridiculously easy and being away from him all day on Saturday made me realize even more how blessed I am that I am his.

I made the printable at the top of this page using a photo from our wedding day. I loved how vivid the grass was that day as we stood for our pre-wedding photos. (I also loved my floral sandals. Not heels for this girl. Yet another loss, courtesy of my brain injury).

I love Neil Barringham's quote, "The grass is always greener where you water it," because it is such a great response to the more commonly known, "The grass is always greener on the other side." Comparison is truly the thief of joy. Whether it's your home, your figure, your kids, your clothes, your income, your job, your health, or even your spouse, when you compare the air-brushed version of what others have to the reality of your own life in all its messy glory, you will feel robbed. But if you focus your energy on what you do have, you will feel blessed. I would love to be able to work, to finish the neglected in-progress manuscripts boxed up in my basement, to be able to volunteer at D's school, or even just take my health for granted each morning. But I can't.  And I never will. And for a long while, my health issues left me in a dark place. But today, I am able to accept the hard things and embrace the good things. I may not have everything I want, but I am blessed to have everything I need.

If you'd like to download the printable, you can click on this link or click on the photo below. 

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1 comment:

  1. I love that printable, what a great sentiment! Pinning, and thanks for sharing this at my link party!


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