Sunday, April 8, 2012

Good Life

"...please tell me what there is to complain about"

I fell in love with the song Good Life by One Republic last year.  It was on my playlist that I would listen to on long runs.  Out by myself in the early morning, it would begin just as I crested a hill that put me at almost 5 miles in, turning a corner  that opened up my view to the sun creeping up over the mountains in the east.
I guess it would be hard not to love a song associated with that view and the feeling that comes with enjoying the fresh stillness of the morning.

It was very fitting that on Thursday night as I climbed in the car to drive home this song happened to be on the radio.

Sure, it had been kind of a rough day.  But in the end, what was there to complain about?

My keys had been locked in my running car, but it was taken care of-free of charge, with no effort on my part.
Everything looks perfect with baby girl, and great with me.
I have a reliable vehicle, that fits our entire family, to get me to and from my appointments with some of the most amazing drs that there are.
My morning drive of nearly 100 miles was completely uneventful.
I came home to a wonderful home, a house that meets all of our needs and an amazing number of wants.
I got to spend hours in the car having random conversations with my little kids about all the crazy things running through their heads.
My older children were all safe at their schools, in safe neighborhoods, with good teachers and staff, and good friends.
They all came home from school safely.
When I did need to leave to take Sam to see a dr, I had kids old enough to take over and make sure the little ones were cared for and dinner would be made.
Aaron's school schedule is less now, allowing for him to be with me at the initial dr visit, and all evening long at the hospital.
Not only do we have one reliable vehicle, we have two now-allowing us the luxury of choosing to drive the car with better gas mileage back to the hospital.
We have an amazing children's hospital close to home.
The wait at the ER was minimal.
My parents were at the hospital within minutes of our arrival there, ready and waiting to do anything they could to help.
We live in a neighborhood surrounded by incredible friends and neighbors-offers to help with anything we might need began coming in before we had even made it to the hospital! (word travels fast here)
One of said friends was willing to stop by and check in on our kids and offer a little encouragement to get along and make sure things got cleaned up. (ok, so maybe the older kids handling the younger kids doesn't always go as smoothly as one would hope...if you grew up with siblings, you understand)
The staff at the hospital was amazing.
Sam was incredibly content throughout the entire process.
Nothing was going on in surgery that night so getting Sam in to be set and cast required minimal waiting.
My body is strong enough to have allowed me to carry him up to surgery myself.
Aaron was able to stay the night with Sam.
My drive home was smooth.
We have a store close to home open 24hrs allowing me to stop in at midnight and pick up a few things to make Jacob's birthday the next day as close to uninterrupted as possible.
All was well when I returned home.
The list goes on and on....

It was a pleasant surprise that as I got in the car on Friday morning to head back to the hospital to pick up Aaron and Sam that the song just starting was again Good Life.  Just one more reminder-in case I'd forgotten overnight-that everything was good.  That despite the little bumps in the road that are sometimes too easy to focus on, life is good.  That morning at the hospital one of the NPs from the Palliative Care group at the hospital stopped in to visit.  She had come to meet with me at the hospital the day after Sam was born.  She was there as a resource for any help we might need for Sam-any therapy or services he would require, helping us through the surgeries we anticipated, coordinating any care that one might have need for when dealing with a child with a life altering medical condition.  We have (kind of) kept in touch over the past year and a half...though I haven't seen her in person since Sam was born, as the few times I've stopped in to say hi she wasn't in.  How great it was to see her under this set of circumstances!  We fully anticipated that the first time Sam would have a hospital stay it would be brain related, that the first time he was taken back to the OR it would be for surgery to install a shunt or ventriculostomy.  What a treat to be there for his leg and not something more!

I finally started back up with my gratitude journal again this year.  I did great a while back, but after a month or so slacked off and neglected it.  I am happy to say that I haven't missed a day since January first.  What a blessing it has been in my life for the past few months to have shifted my focus; to sit back at the end of the day-even the days that push me to the edge and leave me cranky-and to reflect on the things that I am grateful for.  I find that when I'm most bothered at something going on in my day, that those are the moments when my mind now goes to "what AM I going to write down that I am grateful for today?!", and my train of thought changes as I ponder that question.
Make an effort to do the same.  What are you grateful for?  You might just find that despite your frustrations, this really is a good good life.