Tuesday Talk: The Richest Years

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I debated, today, about sharing with you how I am feeling uninspired, how I don’t know where my writing inspiration went, how I feel a little dried up, and, lastly, my contemplations about how writing less might be good for my writing later. But all of this seemed a little boo-hooey and a little unfocused and a little ‘dear diary.’ So, I decided instead to share something that I was thinking deeply about on Saturday evening.

Alex and I spent Friday and Saturday with about 17 high school sophomores and about 17 staff from our school district. We all went floating down the upper Colorado River together, and it was, seriously, a blast. Despite my nervousness about the big, scary high-schoolers ( I am used to elementary school students who think I am pretty much the coolest…as little kids tend to do), I laughed so hard so many times in those 2 days that my abs were sore. The sun was out, the leaves were turning, the water fights were endless, and the singing was jolly. It sounds kind of cheesy, but it really was fun.

So, as the staff spent the bus ride reflecting on the trip, I got to thinking about how grateful I am to work in a school district that values taking kids down the river, and has for 40 years. I got to thinking about how grateful I am for all of the people and adventures that have filled my life, especially in the last few years. Despite my meager income, these have been my richest years.

In my little ‘soup of life,’ the recent combination of people met, relationships built, family members born, places been, things written, trails skiied, mountains climbed, weddings celebrated, and homes found has filled me to the brim, I realized.

My second pondering on this matter was that these were also some of the struggliest years there ever were. Of course, it’s wonderful to look back and feel that good energy, that rolling momentum, and that fullness that has been created in recent years. But I can’t help but remember all the breakdowns about how I didn’t/don’t know what I am doing with my life, how I am not making enough money, how I don’t know where to go next with this or that writing project, how this or that friend hasn’t called me back and maybe they forgot I existed, and, lastly but not leastly, how damn miserable it is in the mountains in May.

Maybe that is why the years feel rich. Maybe I feel like I got through the struggles (for the moment) and earned my happy moments. Or maybe I’ve just realized, as I am writing this, that the rich life is the life lived in the balance of struggle and joy. And that the rich life is the life lived while knowing the importance of both 🙂

I’m jazzed about my life today! Celebrate yours 🙂

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