Yesterday was long. Actually, the last few weeks have been a bit stressful, because you know, life. My husband was in a serious car accident, that miraculously left him uninjured, however my car was completely totaled. Do you guys remember that blue car with the racing stripes I got as a single mom? I’m going to miss that car so much! However, I’m eternally grateful that I get to keep the man that was inside of it when it crumpled like a tin can.
Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, in my husband’s brand new car, I was the victim of a scammer; driving 55 mph down the road, only to have someone pull in front of me and come to an abrupt, complete stop. Thankfully I was paying attention and was able to avoid any major collisions, but we did still crash. I found myself on the side of the road with a terrified child and a man I didn’t know, demanding that I pay him money, and not call the police.
Also, we sadly lost George ferret, which you all knew had a special place in our family.
It has all left me feeling a bit shaken up, so last night, when after a three hour round trip to the hospital for a test The Boy Child needed in preparation for an upcoming surgery, I got home only to find that our remaining car wouldn’t turn off (literally), my stress levels began to soar. Three kids, I hadn’t even made dinner yet, 7pm, husband working late, and the car wouldn’t turn off.
Let’s just say that it was a bit of a tense evening. There wasn’t any yelling or crying, no drama really, just a heavy sense of frustration hanging in the air.
This morning when I got up, I found these notes on my kitchen counter, written by The Girl Child with her crayons and very best spelling attempts. And I can’t help but smile. Not because of the truth in her words, but because of the person she has become. Despite being abused, and abandoned, despite having a critically ill brother, despite having eaten at food pantries and going without, she smiles. She loves, knows she is loved, and she cares. And now, living in the midst of her parent’s stress, she’s teaching what she has been taught, and used to not just survive, but thrive.
That’s our motto. “I wanted this, But Instead I got that. I could be sad, But Instead I choose to be happy.”
But Instead I get to keep my husband. But Instead I faced an aggressive man on the side of the road, and found my strength. But Instead, I saw my daughter’s tender heart.
You (yes, YOU) get to fill in your own life’s “But, Instead,” narrative, and how you do that, determines how you live. You can choose to dwell on the negatives, or, But, Instead, you can find an alternative to focus on.
Look at your life with a smile, and it will feel happy. Look at it through scowling eyes, and the view won’t be that great.
I didn’t get an easy night last night, But Instead, I got an extra joyful morning.
What have your been a few of your recent “But, Instead” moments?