Well, that title is something isn't it? But let me ask you something... Have you ever been on a path and just not quite sure it was the right one? Or maybe you think you chose the right one and a few weeks later suddenly regretted all your life choices? We've ALL been there a time or 2 (or maybe 3 or 4 or like 2389 times). The point is, we're here now. Right where we're supposed to be. Whether we like it or not, no matter what choice (or choices) we've made, we are here. So we can either embrace it or fight it and whichever path you choose to take, your energy (and more than likely, your sanity or lack there of) will follow suit. That I can promise you.
If you've been following me for a while, you know we are a military family and with that comes change. A lot of it, all the time. There are times when I fully embrace a change and there are times when I reluctantly hit my head on a wall trying to resist it. To be totally transparent, the latter is how life's been going the last few years, but I'm learning and growing and finding my way through the yuck of change.
Late this summer, our family embarked on a pretty big change - we moved to Germany! As with all military moves, they can be sticky and messy and filled with unknowns. We tackled most of them well, spent weeks prepping and preparing, dis-enrolled, re-enrolled, and then dis-enrolled our big kids in school in Alabama because you just never know when you'll FINALLY get the long awaited orders. Once we got the official notice, we hit the ground running fast. We shipped our van, the movers came, packed up our home in Alabama, and then we hit the sky and landed in Rheinland-Pfalz in the southwest corner of Germany, all within 3 weeks. August was insane, truly.
But once we landed here in Germany in September, it got even weirder! We slowly adjusted to the 7 hour time difference, quickly found a car, played the ever so insane game that is house hunting around one of the largest military bases in the world, and got the kids enrolled again in school. It's November 1st and we can see the light at the end of a very long and exhausting journey that has been PCSing overseas (the military loves their acronyms, so for my non-military friends - PCS = permanent change of station, I'll try to refrain from using them too much ;)
I'm making it sound like it was no big deal, but shit, it was tough! I like to think I can handle my own pretty well, but there were some days when I literally just cried and wanted to jump on the next plane back to America. It was NOT all sunshine and roses, in fact, this has been the most challenging move we've ever made in the almost 19 years we've been a part of military life. BUT... through the thick of it, I've learned a lot about myself and what it takes to keep my sanity. I've learned to lean in the suck (and trust me, there's been a lot of it at times) but I've also learned to slow down and enjoy the beautiful moments this challenge has given us. It has absolutely made us stronger, smarter, and more resilient. And now I need a nap - LOL!
Back to the point of sharing all of this with you. When life gets hard - because it will, that much we know is true. You HAVE to find the little moments of joy. Without them, you can easily get sucked into the negativity around whatever circumstances you're facing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about pretending and putting on a brave face. I'm talking about taking it one moment at a time, one breath at a time, and finding happiness where you are.
For me, it was in the little things & some big things that I found my joy - being able to order a birthday cake from the commissary for my oldest that turned 13 the week after we arrived. Saying yes to help and not being afraid to ask for it. Watching the wonder in my girls eyes as we explored our new town. Being able to walk to the park and enjoy the fresh air. Pretzels (yes, they are spectacular here!). Cooking and eating a meal that was familiar to our family. Sipping on my favorite tea every night. Seeing familiar faces and visiting with friends that moved to Europe last Spring. Watching the Autumn leaves change colors and fall. Getting back on my mat and finding a new yoga class to attend as student. Ikea - yep, there is one super close to us and I find lots of joy in wandering around Ikea.
Through this change for our family, I could still easily get swept up in the suck of the challenges it has presented, but I'm consciously choosing not to. Every single day, I'm doing something for myself, even if it's just for a moment. And on the days when I still lose my mind (because let's face it, we're all human and lose our shit sometimes), I give myself grace. Lots and lots of grace to just accept the hard and sucky parts of this change and still move forward. One moment at a time, one breath at a time, and I know deep within my soul that this journey will be what I make of it. So I'm choosing to find joy in the journey, even when that means having to sit through the hard days and embrace it for what it is. Because my mindfulness/yoga practice has given me the gift of knowing that no matter what, the time will pass. I want to encourage each and every one of you to find joy today in your journey, and keep choosing to find joy every day. And on the days you need a little extra encouragement, reach out! I'd love to help you connect to your joy - it's there, I promise!
I'm so excited to be getting back to work and into a routine to share mindfulness & wellness tips and tools with you all again! If you need a little extra encouragement to find joy and gratitude every day, snag my free 30-Day Gratitude Calendar by clicking the image below.