I was down in my kitchen earlier this evening, heating up some leftovers for my dinner, when the movie Grumpy Old Men popped into my head, (Burgess Meredith's character in particular.) He was discussing the new neighbor (played by Ann-Margret) with Jack Lemmon's character, who played his son in the movie. It is a cheeky scene, to be sure, as Burgess' line was to ask "Did you mount her?" then the followup line to Jack's reply was "well does she have big thighs?" This movie and its sequel are two of my all time favorite movies. Anyway, when this popped in my head, I happened to glance down at my own thighs and I pondered "well, do I have big thighs?" The answer to that, of course, is no. They do seem a little bigger to me, though, but what I am really seeing is strength. My muscles are bigger since I started working out. This got me to thinking about where I was last year, and where I am now.
Muscles only grow when you work them, and this is not only for physical endeavors. This year has seen quite a bit of change. I have a new niece born this year. My son turned 21 and moved out of state this year. I also began a health & fitness journey this year. All big changes, all good changes. My body has seen some great changes as I have worked to become stronger & healthier, which has prompted my mental outlook to become healthier and more positive & stronger. Best of all, this has been accompanied by healthy strides in my spiritual health. My faith has grown in leaps & bounds this year; something I realized most of all when my son moved out. I know God has a plan for me because he tells me so in Jeremiah 29:11-13. He has a plan for my son, too, and I have left him in His constant, capable hands. Yes, I bawled my eyes out the day my son got on that airplane to move a 15 hour car ride away, and he's not going to be home for Christmas this year. But the weeks before that day, and the weeks since that day, I have known a peace and security that he's going to be okay. A peace that I only know because I have left him in God's hands and I trust that He will take care of my boy. It was a huge, brave step for Matthew, and I am enormously proud of him. So far, he is happy up north and starting to figure out this whole adult thing.
As far as the rest goes, my perennial holiday anxiety was something that I struggled for many years to get under control. Something that mostly due to the strains of raising a special needs child, but when my mom died, it became even harder. I had reached a point where I wanted to simply boycott the last 2 months of the year. But this year, I dug inside myself and leaned on the strength that has settled inside me, and I have chosen something else. I am choosing to embrace the last 2 months of the year. Yes, things are very different. My mom is still gone, which is still excruciatingly hard on me, and now my son is not living with me for the first time since he was born. But I can find the good in the different. I am working to overcome my cynical tendencies and focus on what's good and positive in every situation. Even in the bad stuff, there can be something to be thankful for. Even if that is simply the recognition of being able to appreciate the good because I have persevered through the bad.
So, this year, I choose to be positive. I choose to find joy. I choose to be grateful for the abundance of blessings in my life, for they are too many to count. I choose to see my glass as half full, even in the bad stuff, because when I leave that glass out in the rain, out in the storm, God will fill it up for me when I lean on Him. He has been so good and faithful to me! I choose love, and I choose peace, which comes from His strength. And from His strength, I can find my own.
What do you choose?