The Start of May

Ah, May has arrived. I like the month of May. I like that the semester ends. I like that peonies bloom, that I can smell lilac in the breeze, and that the world comes alive. I like that I get to start cutting the grass, that we mulch our flower beds, and that living spaces spill over onto back patios and front porches. 

With all that said, that's currently not what May feels like. It's 40 degrees outside. It's also wet. A will-anything-ever-feel-dry-again? wetness. There have been multiple daily torrential downpours, intermingled with slow stretches of lackluster rain, punctuated by moments of hail.

Welcome to May.

If I had my druthers, the start of May would be vibrant and sunny, fresh and fun, comfortable and carefree. But, as we all know, we don't control the weather. 

There's so much we don't get to control. I recently was talking with a friend who's facing some serious challenges in her personal life. I understood. Same here. Even though the particulars of our circumstances are different, she and I share a similar bottom line: we both have chapters in our lives that we hadn't envisioned and wouldn't have chosen for ourselves.

This is universally human. We wouldn't have chosen illnesses and cancer diagnosis. We wouldn't have chosen hardships in marriage. We wouldn't have chosen infertility or miscarriages, heartbreaks and bullying, wayward children or job termination, addictions or anxiety disorders, house fires or losing loved ones too soon. We've all lived life events we never would have written into our own stories willfully, but those stories have come nonetheless.

If we had our druthers, things would be more vibrant and sunny, fresh and fun, comfortable and carefree. But, as well all know, we don't get to control all the twists and turns of life.

So today, on this second day of May, I accept the blustery temperature, the rain squalls, and the cloud coverage. I'll work inside and choose contentment, rather than lamenting that I can't work outside. I'll steal a moment to sit and read, curled up under a blanket on my couch, instead of in the wishing I was reading on my porch with my sunglasses on. I'll remember that these few rainy, cold days in May are temporary. It's not going to stay this cold and damp forever.

That's the same with life. When we face hard times, they feel immersive, as if there's 100% circumstantial cloud coverage. But hard times don't last forever. I love this advice from Kristina Kuzmic:

So here's a tip: add right now to whatever is frustrating you about parenting or life in general so that you're not putting a permanence on it. You're realizing that whatever is difficult right now doesn't have to be difficult forever. So, for example, 'I'm not getting enough sleep right now. My toddler is throwing daily tantrums right now. My teenager acts like he hates me right now. This divorce is so excruciatingly painful right now.'

This is right now. This is not forever. You are not stuck. A bad year or two or five doesn't equal a bad life. It equals a bad year or two or five. Hard parenting days won't last forever. Hard life days aren't permanent either.

It's not permanent. It's right now."

Sure, the start of May has been wet and cold. But it's not permanent. It's just right now.

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