Trivia: Two important things happened 29 years ago today. Do you know what they were?
1. Mt. St. Helens erupted.
2. I got married.
Today would have been my 29th wedding anniversary, had Randy and I stayed married. My goodness... where have all the years gone? We were married for 12 years, and have been apart for 17 years. For me, the absolute worst thing about the divorce (besides the obvious effect divorce has on children) is missing the in-laws. After the first few years, though, we worked our way back to becoming close again, and I am very fortunate to enjoy a great relationship with them. And I guess the best part is that 98.9% of the time, Randy and I get along better now than when we were married. While divorce is usually never pretty, and leaves scars on many people, I am one of the fortunate ones who had the unconditional support of family and friends, and as I said above, eventually became close again to my in-laws (who, in my eyes, will forever be considered my in-laws). Whitney has a stepmom who has been very, very good to her, and for that I am most thankful. For sure, the road has been paved with boulders and potholes, and the navigation hasn't always been easy. It is still a journey... filled with ups and downs, happy times as well as challenging times. Never the destination, always the journey. I love the quote at the top of my blog that says "Things turn out best for those who make the best of how things turn out." (Art Linkletter) That is so true. I'm so very grateful that, despite the challenges of single-motherhood, working extra jobs, raising a daughter, I'm at a place in life where I'm pretty much content. Oh, things could be better, of course... there are some health issues that deserve more attention/action, and I wish things were different for some family members, but all in all... I'm extremely thankful that at the end of the day I have a nice, warm (or cool) place to lay my head, we don't lack for food on the table, I am healthy enough to work at a job I enjoy, and that there always seems to be enough money to pay the bills. Life rarely turns out how we expected it to, and mine is no exception. We make the best of what we have been given (or chosen). I believe that there are some elements of life that are within our control, while others are not. Regardless of what we possess, how much money we have, how healthy we are...there are still some people who just choose to be unhappy (void of joy). Not me. Somewhere along the molecular map of my DNA, some happy ancestor of mine passed along the happy/joy gene, and I have chosen to be happy. 100% of the time? nah... I'm a realist, 100% happiness ain't gonna happen. But.....it makes such a difference in how you view the bad things in life. When you have chosen to be happy, you know and understand that when the bad things come along... "they come to pass... not to stay." Though the rain may fall today, the sun will come out again. So.... even though I will not be celebrating 29 years of marriage, and even though there have been dark and difficult times along the way... I'm wearin' my shades, because I believe the future is still bright for me and the ones I love.