“What would be the point of living if we didn’t let life change us?” ~ Downton Abbey
Indeed, isn’t that the very point of life in a nutshell. Learning, experiencing, loving, making mistakes, forgiving and being forgiven – it’s all about changing the very essence of who we are because we change what we know and understand. We allow life to flow our soul from one level of innocence into a deeper level of wisdom and understanding. Life doesn’t just change our physical bodies. The very act of living changes our deepest spirit and our view of who we are and who we are not.
Those changes allow our path to unfold in the direction of our choosing. Every crossroad brings wisdom. Every time we overcome, we grow stronger. Every loss changes our perspective of what is important and what we can and cannot live and even thrive without.
So let us live life to the fullest – out loud, in brilliant color, and with full on passion. May we, with exuberance and anticipation, experience the ups and downs. Let us mindfully and choicefully learn from our failures and successes. Let us grow from the heartaches and the loving. In all ways, may we, with open hearts and open minds, allow life to change us into the best versions of ourselves.
We have a new institution in our family this year – Family Game Night. We did this because, in spite of us all (Mom and Dad, and my 2 sisters and I) living about 10 minutes apart, we almost never see each other. There’s a work schedule here or a volleyball game there and scheduling a dinner out almost never works for everyone. Oh the pressure of getting it “just right”. Now, don’t get me wrong – we’re not estranged or anything. We see each other on the holidays and for a specific reason here or there, but not to just hang out and enjoy each other’s company. So this year we decided that would be the best Christmas present to each other – the gift of time!
We’re rotating houses – Mom and Dad, Tammi and her family, Nikki and her husband, and me and my kids. This way, no-one has to have the burden of always “entertaining.” We host only 3 times a year. And the hostess gets to pick the date and time for her month. Yeah we’ll probably loosely check availability but there’s no pressure. If you can come – come. If you can’t, no sweat there’s always another one next month. And as I learned yesterday at our first shindig, it’s a “red solo cup” kind of party. For you country music/Toby Keith fans you’ll know exactly what that means. Me – I had to be “educated”.
So with the fan fare of the country music song playing in the background, we had our first Family Game Night yesterday. Nothing fancy. No pressure. Only fun – and boy was it! We hooted and hollered. We ate and sang a little. We teased and strategized. We chatted and caught up and we had a lot of fun. Just family – the old-fashioned way where there’s no deadlines and no rules. There’s nothing to do but enjoy each other’s company.
I can’t wait for next month when it’s my turn (sans the country music though). lol