It is easy to be heavy; hard to be light.
I've loved this quote for many years. It must be my melancholy temperament that draws me to it, I tend to be (to my great consternation) a glass half-empty type of person. I have to consciously decide to think positively and be optimistic.
At different times in my life it has meant different things -- and that's why I keep it near. It captures my inner struggle in a way that resonates.
Mad at my husband? It's hard to forgive.
Too many commitments? It's hard to say no.
Gained a few pounds? It's hard to be disciplined and go to the gym.
(Really hard. Really, REALLY hard. I hate the gym.)
Partly by necessity and partly by choice, the major theme I am working toward in my life right now is simplicity. We're a growing family, crammed into every nook and crevice of this small apartment. We're a single-income family, watching our pennies during the worst economic recession in recent history. We're a fledgling business, working on weekends to make a small dream become reality. There is simply no room for extras, financially or otherwise, and occasionally - it does feel overwhelming.
But when I re-read this quote tonight, I decided to think "light:"
We're crammed, but we're cozy. We are where we are by choice. I'm glad I even had a choice. We're watching pennies, but only because we've financially prepared for this. Watching pennies allows me the privilege to stay home with Isaac. Given a choice, I wouldn't trade it for an extra paycheck. We're working hard for what seems like little reward, but it is immensely fulfilling in a different way. Being able to build something together with my husband is truly exciting.
It isn't enough to just be positive and have an optimistic outlook. I think the lightest hearts are the ones that actively seek contentment and gratitude.
[Photo by my super-talented husband, taken April 2006]