Reflecting Sunlight

It’s been quite a while since my last post. I’ve never been able to write on a schedule. I can’t force the words. Sometimes though, I see or read something that hits me in the pit of my stomach, or makes my heart bounce, and once again it is time.

This year has been a mess all around the globe. There’s really no other way to put it. A year we never saw coming; a year many of us never could have imagined. I wish this was the first time I have experienced a year like this, but I have had a number of “messy” years. I don’t know if it’s more than the average person. I don’t know how many people out there feel the same as I do. However, for me, this is just one of many. 

Sitting at home, hour upon hour, for days and days, waiting out the height of the pandemic gave us all time to think. Reconsider our surroundings; reevaluate our lives. For some, it may have been too much time, but for me it was just enough. With mental illness, dementia, and Seasonal Affective Disorder in the house, Michigan winters were hard on all of us. Overcast, snowy, gloomy days for too many months of the year. It was impacting the heath of the family, especially my husband, and it was most definitely affecting his life expectancy. This is where we had been living for most of our lives though, where our families live, where we have made most of our friends. If we moved we wouldn’t know anyone. We would be starting out all over again. Change is a scary and uncertain thing. The fear can hold you back, but if you rise to the opportunity, it can also help you live. 

Those past experiences, the “messy“ years, have been a blessing to me. They’ve taught me to be brave, a quality that I did not possess as a child or young adult. I have come to learn that I am strong, and stepping out of my comfort zone can be exhilarating. Empowering. Even life-saving. 

At the end of April we took the leap and started researching online for a warmer area. A sunnier location with no snow, but plenty of rolling waves and sandy beaches. We were about as close to throwing a dart at a map as you can get without actually doing it. We went with our gut instincts and picked a city and state, one that we had never considered before. We started looking at real estate, narrowing down the area where we wanted to buy. Within ten days we had put our home on the market, and with the help of an amazing agent, placed a bid on a house we had never stepped foot in. I took a quick trip south for the inspection and to scope out the new neighborhood, and by the end of June we were moving into our new home. It was scary and exciting, and it was the wisest decision we have made in a very long time. We are embracing the change. 

This year has been a mess, but we are making the best of it. I have learned from my past, and will continue to strive to make this life full of as much joy as possible. I recently read a passage in a book, Where the Crawdads sing by Delia Owens, “Autumn leaves don’t fall; they fly. They take their time, they wander on this, their only chance to soar. Reflecting sunlight they swirled and sailed and fluttered on the wind drafts.” I think this may be the most moving passage I’ve ever read. To me, it is a life mission. It is how I strive to live. 

This is the only life we get. Reflect the sunlight. Choose to soar. 

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