Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Learning to Love

Or how I went from this:

to this:

I've struggled with living in Buffalo since I moved here. No, I've struggled a lot longer than that. I wanted out of Rochester. I found my journal from college and complained in there about wanting out of Rochester. Basically "anywhere but here." That was my wish when I blew my candles out on my 26th birthday, that I'd be celebrating the next birthday in a new city. Um, Buffalo wasn't quite what I had in mind, but it was a package deal with the man of my dreams, so I took it.
and I don't regret that choice. If I had to go back and choose again, I'd still choose it.

but it doesn't mean I wouldn't prefer a relocation. Preferably someplace with palm trees, sunshine, and an utter lack of snow. Mickey nearby is a plus but not the reason for my choice of relocation direction.

For the past year or two, I've had huge ups and downs about it. Like HUGE. I kept trying to talk myself out of it...nope. Tried adding in herbs (like St. John's Wort) to help balance my hormones and emotions. Didn't help.

Finally, after we got back from a perfect vacation in the place I'm still longing to live and yet another HUGE crash, I knew what I needed to try next.

I needed to be thankful. I needed to worship. I needed to actually thank Jesus for everything.

I started my list like this:

~Thank you for the obnoxious dog next door. She barks day and night. And it's a loud bark. But because she's outside and a german shepherd, no one would break into our house. They'd be afraid she'd wake up the neighborhood (and possibly jump the fence and attack them). so we're getting the benefits of a watchdog, without having to take care of a dog.

~Thank you for winter. The frozen ground means we get beautiful bulbs in spring, and without it we couldn't have the variety of foods that can grow locally.

~Thank you for being close to a city with so many nationalities represented. I love food from different countries, and I can enjoy a bunch of them within a short drive from our house.

~Thank you for this old house. I fell in love with it and knew it was the house for us 5 years ago. It was perfect for us, and for now we can continue to make changes so that it continues to suit our needs.

~Thank you for the overcast skies that keep the winter days from getting too cold. It insulates us from drastic cold temps for most of the winter.

Since then, I've found it easier (most days) to find something to be thankful about in any of my frustrations.
And instead of griping to myself, to Josh, and to whoever would listen, I'm spending the time praising instead.

I don't want to sound all high-and-mighty, like I've figured it out. I just want to share how much my life has changed in this outlook. It's not on my own. I tried that in the first place. But by changing my gripes to praise, my heart is more content.

I still want to move to Florida. That likely won't change until we're actually there. But the point is, for the first time in my life (minus the 2 years in Turkey, when I adored where I lived), I'm content with where I live. I haven't moved. I'm still in the same city, with the same dark clouds over the skies, the same depressed economy and way too many laws. It's my attitude. My heart has changed.

There's a bumper sticker I've been eyeing for awhile now. It looks like this minus the glass:

When I first saw them, I laughed, that cynical laugh that said, "there's no way that will ever be on my car!" But then it became a longing, that I would actually WANT one on my car. Now I want to buy one. Maybe not put it on my car, but to hang on my fridge, which is actually a stronger statement because *I* will keep seeing it.

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