Monday, July 6, 2015

Defining Moments - Note to Natalie -

I would imagine most of us have heard the saying, "Don't let your experiences define you, you define your experiences." While this is all dandy and ideal, it is idealistic - there are moments in all of our lives that shape us, defining us as we continue on our journey.

I've been going through the past 40 years of photos - putting them into new albums, making sure their in order, and boy oh boy, a project that I figured would take me a month has now lasted 6 months, and I'm halfway finished.

Why? The journey - the experiences in my life that have defined and shaped me are more than evident in these pictures: 1st marriage, Tyler's birth, Clark graduating from BYU, our first home in Brigham City, parties, friends, travels, Jenna's birth, adventures, school beginning, new car, family reunions, the trip to Washington DC that shaped our desire to move from Utah and live in the East. Moving to Alabama, new home, travel, adventures, friends, school, church, family visits, new home, setting down roots, me beginning school. Move back to Utah, Clark in school, graduating, building house in Springville, Tyler, Jenna - growing, growing, Tyler graduating from high school, Tyler's mission, Jenna graduating from high school, me graduating from college, separation - all of us growing up and growing away. Divorce. Marrying Scott.

Whew - traveling back in time has been tough, therapeutic, and has helped me put my life's events into perspective. Hindsight - easier to see where you've been than where you're going?

And 12 years later, the adventures, journeys, travels, experiences have not stopped. Time does not stop experiences, and we are shaped by them - and if we aren't, then we are stone, stagnating. We cannot move forward until we acknowledge the past and place those experiences along our map - acknowledge, ache, cry, linger, dig deep, be bitter, laugh, and then - move, carrying them along with us as we move.

On Friday I learned that Scott's daughter, and her husband and family, are moving to Florida in a month. As I thought about how happy I am for them, how excited I am for them for this experience, I thought about how my move away from Utah was one of the most defining experiences in my life.

And then - just like that, I thought, "I defined those experiences, and they are such a part of that map of my life that I am continually learning from these experiences." And the light-bulb came on, and the words of Karin, Sue, Maxine, and others, clicked.

Cancer - another experience that will continue to be a part of that map of my life. I will continue to learn from these experiences - I have. And yet - just like my experiences in - Idaho, Utah, Alabama, marriage, family, divorce, remarriage, and on and on - I determine how I carry it, how I define it.

Idealistic - sure.

Natalie - enjoy the journey - seize the moment - and take it all in. It will shape you and yours, if you allow it to. Don't be a rock.


Two people I love so very much - one just 2 years old, the other, 66. 
Both experiencing life's journey - at different points of life, yet not so different. 
New path for both - Big Springs, Island Park, ID. June 30, 2015.



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