This year has been like a creepy stroll through a fun-house at the county fair– a maze of bewildering, distorted experiences where the walls narrow and bend while the floor beneath shifts in chaotic uncertainty and the exit seems to snake so far into the future that the tipsy-turvy wobble of reality starts to feel normal.
If I could find a way out, I would hide among the livestock and let puffs of pink sugar dissolve on my tongue while pondering the slanted profile of a goat. Hiding for the rest of 2020 is tempting. It’s been a hard year with way more steep drops and hard climbs than the ricketiest roller coaster. I’m not a fan of roller coasters so I’m over it all. I’m ready to say farewell to 2020 — blow a goodbye kiss to it through my masked face and wait for next year.
But if I have learned anything, it is to be grateful for each day that I am given. I used to think this kind of gratitude meant that I would be in a persistently good mood, that I would never be annoyed at the people in my life, and that I would be completely satisfied regardless of my circumstances. It would be the pinnacle of my spiritual evolution with some ceremonial demarcation comprised of wrapping my head in a turban and singing Kumbaya to my cats. And as much as I probably should wrap my head in a turban until I can see my hairdresser again, gratitude looks nothing like that.
Right now, when it’s so tempting to write off the year as some sort of sordid freak show that none of us bought a ticket for, being grateful means perseverance. It means that despite how far-fetched these new realities seem we don’t let them stop our pursuit of joy. If anything, it has made us more creative in finding it. We are a dear and precious people. The characteristics we embody – our innate ability to love and care for others is a contagion that thrives in hard times. No matter what distorted images the year has held, love still reflects the best of one another. It recognizes the gift of now. It doesn’t throw away the days left on the calendar until notions of normalcy return.
We aren’t a people meant to hide out with goats when life is still full of bright colorful lights, laughter, and the wonder of love that spins as magically as a carousel loaded with galloping horses suspended in time. As tempting as it is to scoff at the merits of 2020, we won’t get this time back. Eventually, it gets packed away leaving us only with gratitude for the memories of a year that’s been quite the ride.
Hi friends~As many of you know, I had a yucky health scare this year. (Or, if I were to speak like an adult I would say that I had a spontaneous carotid artery dissection that left me with severe stenosis.) But I prefer, “yucky” because the adulting thing is just overrated. Anyway, I am thrilled to report that my latest scan showed that my artery has completely healed and is “beautiful.” I could never have imagined that I would be so happy over a beautiful artery. Like many of you, I can’t imagine a lot of things that have happened in 2020. Yet, I know it’s a gift to be here. It’s a gift for you to be here too. So, let’s make the most of this crazy year, and maybe we can make some crazy good come from it. In the meantime, please know how grateful I am for your prayers and concern. I am convinced that they helped make my artery beautiful again and that makes each of you ever beautiful to me. ~ love, Lara
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