When I got the official “refusal to renew your lease” letter in the mail from my former landlord, my heart dropped. Time froze for about 10 seconds as I scanned the room wondering what on earth I was going to do. I sat on my couch and felt flushed, anxiety completely took over my body. School had just started for my then kindergartener and third grader, I just started a new job — one I was banking on to help me finally get ahead — and I had very little in savings. As if the past few years weren’t hard enough, this was the crappy icing on an even crappier cake.
For the next week, you could find me crying randomly at red lights, in the shower, or making dinner. Repeating to myself, what on earth am I going to do, what on earth am I going to do? I had 60 days to figure it all out, and barely $60 to buy groceries, let alone move my family. Despite the shame and guilt and embarrassment weighing so heavy on me, we figured it out. We moved, we got settled, we adjusted.
This was just a year ago.
Today life looks very different (all in very good ways) and it got me thinking how the ability to adapt has been the key to our happiness. I used to have pretty rigid views on how my life was “supposed” to go. Plans I would be so married to, so obsessed with, so hell-bent on having that I would eventually become incredibly overwhelmed and discouraged when “life had other plans.” Discouraged enough to lose focus and throw in the towel, eventually abandoning lifelong hopes and dreams… and ultimately, and above anything else, our happiness. (And my sanity!)
Since having Romeo (coincidence or not), we’ve learned to just take life for what it is. Maybe it’s because when you take in a rescue dog you have no other choice but to accept what is and not what you expect to be. Romeo has taught us so much about love and second chances, but he’s been my greatest teacher when it comes to slowing down and surrendering to what’s right in front of my eyes.
So, now we take the days as they come, just as they are – nothing more, nothing less. Taking the good with the bad… the crabby moods with the happy ones, the busy days with the relaxing ones, the days where the kids actually get along and the days I wish this wasn’t my life. Or the days when I’m so exhausted I want to quit my job… and then the days when work flies by and I’m filled with so much gratitude to work where I do.
Living in the moment.
Learning how to adapt accordingly.
Accepting life, taking chances and trusting the process without over-thinking every tiny little detail. Letting life be messy, knowing it won’t be messy forever. Enjoying and fully appreciating when things are easy, knowing that nobody can escape harder times. Rather than questioning, with such despair, what on earth am I going to do, I now have a much simpler and hopeful life mantra:
Okay, what’s the new plan?