I complain a lot, as mothers of young children do. I complain that my daughter won't sleep in, won't sleep through the night, won't settle down, won't listen, won't cooperate. I complain that I never have enough time to do anything for myself, or to do enough for others, or to do nothing. What a concept.
The problem with all of this complaining is that it only tells one narrow story. It is a story that's based in reality. My daughter despises sleep, and I don't ever seem to have enough time. However, there is another angle that's just as valid as the gripe and grumble I seem to portray in social networking updates. That angle is gratitude. And that angle is essential to the quality of life I seek in the grand scheme of things - the greater picture.
My life has shifted in and out of a variety of landscapes and has taken on a plethora of characteristics over the years. I have changed. My occupations have changed. My interests and activities and friendship circles and countries of residence have changed. I have lived in four continents in the past eight years. I have chased a thousand contradictory dreams and managed to come out relatively in tact despite broken hearts and skinned knees. And I am here, alive and lucky.
There are countless things I can express my gratitude for, and will in posts to come, but for now I am simply aware of how lucky I am for a quiet moment to type. To reflect on the narrative I have been constructing and touching lightly on memories that have lit me up and made me who I am. Life continues to move forward, as it always does, carrying a current of anxiety and pleasure and joy. But I've always found it therapeutic, at the very least, to keep a tab on where I am and where I'm going. To write it down. To share it. Life is an artwork in progress and it's so important to take a step back and pause. To look at the canvas and smile. And then pick up the paintbrush again.
Today's canvas looks like it needs a little colour. Perhaps a little polymer clay...