There Are No Charmed Lives, Just Charmed Moments . . .
I have a good friend; I'll call her such even though we have only 'hung out' a handful of times. You know those people you meet and you just 'click' with? You know those people who are perpetually interesting and inspiring while still being totally relatable? That's how I'll describe her.
From the moment she showed up on my doorstep one Spring, standing there knocking on my door in hopes of introducing herself to the new-to-her neighborhood, wearing a hoody and ponytail, holding a glass of wine, I knew she was what I refer to as 'good people'.
As I grew to know her and watch her family from across the street. I marveled at how perfect their lives were: happily married young couple, beautiful historic home, two beautiful and brilliant children, two dogs. Both have equally brilliant careers and are the type that are always reaching to learn, be, and do something more. They are deeply involved in the community and with the raising of their children. They travel, camp, boat, explore. Their lives are decidedly charmed.
Perhaps it was this view of their lives that made it all the more devastating when, late last year, she announced in a public post that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. . . at 42. It would require a double mastectomy and possibly other procedures.
"NO!" I remember shouting to the wall in my bedroom. Not her, not them. They don't deserve this. They have everything. They work hard. They do it right. . . .NOT HER.
This year I discovered that a former classmate who lives a similar 'charmed life' has been struggling with an illness that can keep her bedridden for weeks and unable to participate in daily life as well as work on her stunning artwork that she creates.
When you look around, it's everywhere: the parents that lose their child in a random and tragic accident, the 6 month old that has terminal cancer. . .bad things, everywhere.
Why them? WHY? The voice repeated in my head.
The other voice, the one of logic that doesn't play to illusions or delusions, chimed in and said 'why not them?'
When things happen to certain people it's almost easy to think 'well they just have crap luck, it's par for the course, they have always been a mess anyway. . . .karma. . .'
But here is the thing. There are no charmed lives.
Bad things can happen for no reason, to 'good' people, to 'bad' people. Nothing is guaranteed and life sure as hell is not fair. (If I had a dollar for every time my mother made that statement to me as a child I could retire today.)
There are also all of the things that you don't see in peoples lives. The man who seems to have it all together that suffers severe anxiety and depression. The woman who shows up to work daily to her job when she has just lost yet another pregnancy. . .
There are no charmed lives and an incident that may seem like no big deal to one person can absolutely devastate another.
What we can have are charmed moments, even in the absolute worst of times.
My friend, who has now completed her surgery, is good at this. While I am certain she has had some horrible moments during these past months I know she has also had some absolutely beautiful ones as well. She has mentioned her family becoming closer and that she can now help raise awareness to other women about cancer detection.
It got me to thinking. . .her life has charmed moments because she focuses on them. . . .on what she has and what she can do vs what has befallen her and the negatives of it.
We've all been through crap in our lives. . .and there will be more, it's going to happen. It just happens
It's ugly and beautiful and messy and horrifying and brilliant and strange. . . .some days all at once. . . and that is what makes it fascinating and precious.
Find the moments, make the moments. They don't always require money or a lot of time.
They do require living in the present moment and a conscious focus on gratitude.
Make a list of 10 moments you have had or will have today.
- Sun shining through the curtains while waking up in a warm bed
- First cup of coffee of the day
- A warm breakfast
- Birds chirping
- A quick 10 minute yoga session
- A happy text from some gals I haven't seen in a while
- Fresh laundry out of the dryer
- Getting to go to a job I enjoy
- Fresh air through the car window
- Emailing my aunt and uncle just to say hi
This is life. This is precious. Enjoy these moments, no matter what else troubles your soul, no matter what tomorrow will bring.
May your troubles be tiny and your moments be many.