Fluffy White Clouds

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Today was a great day.

Something I have realized over the years is that good days are usually not the result of some big, exciting news or a sudden windfall of cash or prizes. Although, those can be fun to dream about.

Most good days are the result of appreciating what we have presently in our day to day lives.

If we wait for everything to fall into place, such as losing those last 10 pounds or finding that ‘perfect guy’, we may never feel content because we are constantly longing for more. We are never enough as we are right now. Even as you read this, you might be thinking, This doesn’t apply to me. I won’t be happy until I have ‘x’.

And you are probably right.

A couple years ago, I decided that I was going to appreciate myself, my life, and my circumstances for what they were. Of course, appreciate doesn’t mean that you can’t strive for growth and change, it just means that you understand where you currently are in life.

Even when we are between a rock and a hard place, these difficult circumstances are often for a reason even if we cannot see it at the time. I have been through some pretty rough times in my life, but when I look back on them I see what each situation has taught me and how they allowed me to grow.

When I was struggling with a career and grad school that made me miserable, I didn’t know it at the time, but they would serve as a major turning point in my life. The unhappiness I experienced eventually woke me up and suddenly, I was determined to never settle for mediocrity again.

After my parents divorced when I was 17, my mom and I started a new chapter and we moved across the country from New Brunswick to Ontario. I would have been entering my last year of high school with all of my friends (and long-time boyfriend) in New Brunswick, but instead I took a leap of faith and I chose to move and to challenge myself. My mom got a job transfer to Ontario and we moved shortly thereafter with our life stuffed into a few suitcases.

Things were rough, especially for the first few months before we found an apartment to live in. I was living with nearby family for the first while and I was trying to begin at a new school and also juggle my studies and social life while living out of a suitcase.

My mom and I shared many tears together that year.

But as they say, hindsight is always 20/20.

While that time was filled with many challenges, it was also quite remarkable to see the progression over time. By stepping out of my comfort zone, I grew as a person and I matured a lot. Slowly but surely things started to fall into place. I started my last year of high school in a new school where I didn’t know a soul, but as luck would have it, I ended up meeting my future husband during my first day of class.

Sometimes a leap of faith has a hidden four leaf clover.

So yes, today was a good day, for no particular reason except for the fact that I decided it was.

The skies were bright blue with fluffy white clouds and the leaves were blazing orange and red, after several days of cold and rain. I hit the pavement, not even overly wanting to workout, but once I got out there I thanked my lucky stars that I had. I ran a fast 4 miles listening to nothing but the crunching of the leaves under my feet and the crickets chirping in the woods.

fall-road

[Image source]

That is not my picture, but perhaps in a couple more weeks?! ;)

I must mention that it took putting my music player in the washing machine (and breaking it) it for me to run without music, but I digress. As I said, sometimes clouds have a silver lining. ;)

When I wrapped up my work for the day, I decided to bottle the fluffy white clouds and create my own silver lining in my kitchen…

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But more on that tomorrow.

Do you ever look back on a tough time in your life and see the hidden four leaf clovers or life lessons that it brought to your life?

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

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Kaitlin With Honey October 1, 2010

Beautiful post, Angela!

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Jolene (www.everydayfoodie@hotmail.com) September 30, 2010

Every one of life’s challenges has changed me for the better. I have learned to not take anything for granted, and to value and appreciate every thing in my life. I have noticed that I never find myself complaining, and I don’t wish the days away waiting for the weekends like I have in the past. Hard times in life really teach a person what is important. Health, family and friends are all that we really need.

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Natasha September 30, 2010

Dooesn’t the fall just make you so glad to live in Southwestern Ontario?!
This time of year makes me feel so blessed to live here!

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Jessica (Fit and Clean) September 30, 2010

What a beautiful post. It sounds that you are at a good place right now. I’m not at that “good place” at this point in time yet, but things have a way of working themselves out, and sometimes healing takes a long time. (I lost both of my parents to cancer this year). Things ARE looking up, and I TRY to stay positive. Leaps of faith can define a person and who they become. And it seems that your leap of faith at the beginning of your journey has most certainly defined you. Love reading your posts and thank you for sharing!!

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Virginia @ YtotheUmmy September 30, 2010

Oh dear :’) This post made me almost sniffle a little. I’m going through a particularly difficult time in my life right now, and this was just the assurance I needed. Thank you, for reminding me that sometimes…things gotta get ugly before they get pretty. You’re wonderful :)

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Lou September 30, 2010

Hi Angela, this post made me smile because it touched on some things that have been in my mind today. Earlier on, before I read your post, I realised (looking out the window waiting for my dinner to heat up), ‘it’s a good day, just a plain day but good because I feel good and I want to take note of what is here and now and real’ and just by being grateful I was able to feel happiness and I took note of how wonderful that was (and that made me even happier, lol). I was also talking with a friend who is going through a possible break up and we discussed how you can’t have the lotus without the mud…truly one of the most beautiful expressions of finding a silver lining…no suffering, no joy. I’m stealing that from Thich Nhat Hanh :)

Anyway, I just thought it was sweet the way your post overlapped with my own mental landscape today and I’ve been meaning to say hello and thank you for your inspiration, so I took the coincidence as my cue to write. You really have been a big inspiration to me over the last six months on my own weight loss and fitness journey and I always smile when I see your entries pop up in my reader because your joie de vivre is so infectious :) Keep up the good work dear, it is very much appreciated :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 30, 2010

Thank you for such a lovely comment! I really appreciate it.
No suffering, no joy is very true.

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Erika September 30, 2010

What a pleasant post! I can think of a time in high school that I was beyond miserable. It was awful and had to do with a lot of my “friends” – but after talking to a woman from our church I decided to get over it and I realized who my true friends were and was able to get rid of the fake in my life. However, to this day I’m still very particular to who I let in my life and have a hard time trusting people – but it keeps the clutter out of my life.

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Clare @ Fitting It All In September 30, 2010

I feel that way about a lot of break ups. It seems like the worst thing in the world at the time, but then you find someone new and are able to look back at all the things you learned.

In the same spirit, one of my favorite quotes is “One of God’s greatest gifts is unanswered prayers”

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AC September 30, 2010

As said many times in the previous comments, thank you for this thought-inspiring post. I feel as though it is applicable to everyone, whether they are going through an especially hard time or not. In your post, you mentioned that decided today would be a good day simply because you chose it to be, was very powerful for me, and I’m sure many others. Your positivity is truly infectious, reading your posts really brightens my day and makes me see how to make lemonade from any kind of lemons. Thanks again!

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Laura September 30, 2010

One of the toughest times in my life was the four years my Mom had cancer, and the few years immediately following her passing away. Actually, I’m still just recovering from that. But here’s the cloud/silver lining part: I just happened to have lost my job right before she got sick. Even weirder, I had gotten a new one, and it suddenly fell through for strange and inexplicable reasons. So I picked up and went to take care of her, living with her and my Dad during the week and helping with their business and taking her to chemo and generally being the clown/mood lifter/cook/caretaker/best friend in the house, then traveling back (from MA) to NYC on weekends to “visit” my husband. Although this was extremely hard, both physically and emotionally, for various reasons, I had four amazing beautiful years with my Mom that I might not have had if things were going just slightly differently in my own life. My Mom and I were best friends, and I wouldn’t have traded even one moment I got to share with her, not even those spent on the chemo ward.

Also, although my Dad and I always loved each other, he wasn’t much of a talker and we weren’t close in the same way. By sharing that time together, I developed such an amazing and deep relationship with him that we may never have come to on our own.

Even my brother and I became closer. Though he lives far away, we now talk all the time. Just the fact that I was taking care of our family when he couldn’t be there opened a whole bunch of emotional doors for us. We had been at odds most of our lives, so so different we couldn’t relate. And now all of a sudden we see more similarities than otherwise and really appreciate each other.

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