Monday, 5 October 2015

When Life Gives You (lots of) Rotten Lemons

It's been way too long! Life (mostly wedding planning, oh and moving across the country too, I guess) got the best of me, but now I'm back. So to recap, WE GOT HITCHED! Almost two months ago on August 15th at 4:00pm (just kidding, a bit later since I was late to the ceremony), Maeghan and I said our "I Do's" and partied our butts off with our closest friends and family. Like everyone says, it really was the absolute best day of my life. What more could a person want than to be surrounded by the people who love them most in the entire world, enjoying good food, too many drinks, and seeing nothing but smiling faces, hearing constant laughter, and feeling such an immense amount of love?? 

Here's some photo evidence: 

When Maeghan asked me to marry her back in May of 2014, she told me that if she were going to spend the rest of her life being unlucky, she would rather spend it being unlucky with me. I think I was both laughing and crying when I heard those words, but nonetheless, I was definitely nodding since I agreed that we've always seemed to have awful luck. After that day, it was like a switch flipped and for the next year or so Maeghan and I's bad luck seemed to disappear. It isn't as if we started to have some unnatural kind of good luck where we won the lottery, or constant uncannily-good things happened to us, it's just that the constant string of bad things ended and life in general seemed to become easier.

Then, as if we had licked the last of the good luck off of each other's lips when we sealed our marriage with a kiss, our bad luck picked right up again. It all began with having no hotel room for our wedding night as it had been given away, and carried on throughout our trip across the country including awful occurrences such as a flat tire, having our car broken into, and nearly not making it through the mountains due to engine troubles. When we finally arrived in Victoria - so worn out physically, emotionally and financially - we thought we would start to catch a break. But sure enough, the bad luck continued continues on with silly things like all of our mail going missing, or fighting through hiccups with the insurance company that cause hefty fees, and finding out our professional wedding photos are...disappointing to say the least.

Now I'm going to be honest with you, this outlook that I'm about to share with you did not come easily to me. For the first few days in Victoria, I spent more time crying than not, and I was constantly asking myself (and poor Maeghan) "why me" and "what did we do to deserve this". Then a few days ago, with lots of support from my fantastic wife, I made the decision to begin to think more positively, despite the constant negative or unlucky things that continue to occur. I decided that rather than sit around waiting for life to at least give me fresh lemons so I can make some frigging lemonade, I'll take my truck load of rotten lemons and compost them to make mulch for my garden and grow my own lemons.

Okay, so obviously I don't actually have rotten lemons, and I definitely do not know anything about turning them into compost and growing my own lemons, but what I do know is how to get back into the driver's seat of my own life. I can't help that for whatever reason "bad things" may continue to happen in my life, but I can cope better. I can work on reminding myself that those "bad things" in my life are relative, and probably measly compared to many other people's "bad things". I can resist the urge to ask "why me" while getting sucked into compiling a mental list of all of the negatives, but rather work towards finding a solution to my problem and take a moment to reflect on all of the positives in my life. And lastly, I can create my own good luck.

It would be nice if I could create luck like choosing the winning lottery ticket this week, or ensuring no one I love ever gets cancer, but that's not how life works. What I will do, is choose to acknowledge the small things; the little lucky things that go unnoticed each day, and make them outweigh the seemingly large pile of unlucky things.

This past week's list includes:
- my new iPhone not smashing when it went bouncing down the cement side walk
- my favourite tea being on sale right when I wanted to buy it
- a great volunteer organization having availability to take me on as a volunteer immediately
- our new dryer not shrinking any of my clothing
- having our cat escape and not run away
- Mcdonald's not having any ice cream, causing us to find a delicious local ice creamery and being able to try nanimo bar flavour for the first time

See, let's imagine for a moment that my iPhone had smashed, or my dryer did shrink my clothing, I would have been devastated and wondering "why me". However, not smashing my phone or having my clothes shrink doesn't just mean I've evaded bad luck, it means I was lucky! Who's to say that we can't rejoice because our favourite tea was on sale when we wanted it, or because our indoor cat was only hiding in the bushes a few feet from the door? These are instances of good luck, and I'm not going to let them go unnoticed anymore!

So along with doing more things that make me happy, like becoming a mentor or joining a new gym, I'm going to be that girl signing Queen's "We Are The Champions" at the back of the store because I found the last medium in the sweater I've had my eye on...but my question is, will you be singing too, or will you be drowning in your pile of rotten lemons?

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