So What?

This is another one of my mantras. You might not like it. But if you think about it for a minute, it might make sense.

Life happens. It just keeps coming. Lots of times we react to It, whatever It may be.

Sometimes drama pops up and we are filled with emotions trying to make sense of life event A or life event B. Can you tell I’ve been helping with math homework?

Sometimes we are angry or sad or crazy because of something that happened to us, or our kids, or our well being is just shaken. Sometimes it’s something serious, really serious, and sometimes it just feels serious. And we react. And sometimes keep reacting in a negative way.

My response is… yep, you guessed it…. So what?

So what, really? Really, does it make a difference how you feel? The event just happened. Usually you can’t change it. Sometimes you can and then it makes sense to think of what you can do differently. But most times you just have to say “So what?” Deal with it. Cope with it. Make amends and accept what is as fast as you can so you can go on living and accepting and enjoying the present moment whatever that may be. Accept your new normal and adapt. The longer we feed the drama, the less time we have for joy in the present we might experience.

When Charlie almost died, I had to say so what. What could I do? There wasn’t much I could do to help him and it was out of my control. I had to let go, and let the doctors work their magic and pray to God that His Will would be done. Don’t get me wrong… I tried my best and worked so hard and was at the hospital day and night, and did everything possible to care for him and my family as we went through our personal hell. But when I let go, and stopped trying to find the answers and surrendered to the process and the journey, I found peace. I found grace. I found joy despite the fear and sadness and worry.

And I’ve never wanted to let go of this feeling. I’ve used this strength to help guide me through life and not to react as strongly as I normally would and I’ve practiced saying so what when things didn’t go as planned. And geez, things usually don’t go as planned, do they? So what. I’m going to live the best life possible and so are you. Right?

Really, I think it works for just about any situation. My dad always says, “In 5 years, are you going to remember this moment.” Or, “In 10 years, will it really matter that event A happened?” This is just another way of saying “So what?” Really. Just acknowledge and accept what comes your way and adapt and change and move on. Keep moving forward and finding your happy place. Sometimes it takes a bit longer, of course, but we need to find peace in life. And I think peace comes more quickly when we let go of trying to control what we’ve been handed and just say “So what” or whatever other expression helps you to let go and move on. And please, don’t think for one minute I’m saying that whatever has happened to you isn’t tragic, or scary or sad or miserable or painful or any other negative feeling that you’re experiencing. That is real. It’s just our reaction to the pain is what we can control.

I wish you peace and grace and love. So what?

Let there be light… It’s a full moon tonight.

Day 90: Rome

It’s been 90 days since we became Expats, and gained this new title. Along with being expats, comes the expectation that we will travel every chance we get… because everybody’s doing it (and because we want to, too)!! And in Holland there is a lot more time off for vacation than in the States, so we’re going Dutch again.

Our first big vacation is to Italy. I have always wanted to see Italy, because my grandma was born in Sicily and I’m half Italian. My dad has never been either, so I wanted to share this with him too. So we are all here for a big, family, European vacation. That’s the good news. Want to hear the bad news?? There has been a stomach virus going around, that lasts for 2-4 days. First Char had it, then Christian had it and last night Juliana got it right in time for our trip. We were debating whether to go or not, but we didn’t buy travelers insurance and we were all filled with anticipation and excitement that we didn’t want to stay home. So we came anyway, and Juliana has been sick all day!! Stuck in the hotel room, waiting to get better. We have taken turns watching her and staying with her but it sure has changed our journey.

The lesson for me (because I’m always trying to learn something new) is that we don’t get to write our own story the way we want it to be. We might have a script and can have expectations and dreams but really, life is out of our control. And when the script changes, can we adapt? I feel like life is constantly about adaptations – some easier than others… Right, girls?

And as for our family story, being sick in Rome really is a high class problem, or let’s be real – it’s not a problem at all,
just an inconvenience and change in plans. I’ll just be thankful for the journey today and for my Mama and Jeff who watched Juliana in shifts, so we all got to see a piece of history and culture. And for Juliana, who has been resting and trying to feel better! I hope the night is good for her, and the rest of us, and that she feels better in the morning.