Choosing Joy

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ever wake up and feel like a swarm of birds pooped all over you while you were sleeping? And not in the I-desperately-need-to-wash-my-hair kind of way. More like, why am I such a crankasaurus? What crawled up my rump and died?

I've been feeling this way a lot lately, and I'm tired of it. It's a Wonderful Life is one of my favorite movies. Mostly because George Bailey and I aren't so different. Neither of us realize the goodness, the wonderfulness, if you will, of our lives. We go about our days with no real rhyme or reason. We are duty bound. Obligation keeps him in his small town, stuck in a boring office at a dinky bank because he doesn't want to see the place his father built destroyed. His life of adventure and travel is put on hold... indefinitely. But for a while, it seems okay.

He has a wife, whom he loves. Children who adore him. A town that depends him. A seemingly adequate life. For all intents and purposes, George Bailey should be happy. Nothing is really wrong. And then it happens. Uncle Billy loses the bank's deposit and Mr. Potter takes full advantage of his mishap. The people begin to panic. The town is in mayhem. And George thinks the only way to end it all is to end himself. 

Enter Clarence. His guardian angel, the one who would completely change George's perspective on his already wonderful life. If you think about it, nothing really changes for George. True, the bank does get out of some serious trouble and he no longer has to go to jail. But for the majority, his life remains the same. He is stuck in the same old town with his family. The exciting life he has always dreamed about is still sitting on the shelf. But now George is happy because he GETS IT.

As Clarence says, "You see George, you've really had a wonderful life. Don't you see what a mistake it would be to just throw it away?"

I had one of those moments this morning as I was getting ready; it was a George-Bailey moment.

For the last few weeks, I have been complaining like one of those real housewives of New Jersey.
I'm angry at things I cannot control. I'm frustrated that we live in Mexico, away from most of the people we love. I'm hurt by people. I desperately want to work etc. etc. 

It's funny how the little things in life end up being the parts of your day that REALLY matter. In the grand scheme of things, this "revelation" isn't really a big deal. But, like George Bailey, my perspective got changed.

We still live in Mexico. We still haven't really gotten plugged into this city. I still don't have legit 8-5 job. BUT (and it's a glorious but) Grahm and I have each other. We have a cute apartment. We have food.  And we have Jesus, our only good. This may not seem like a lot, but it is. It is everything we need. I just need to remind my greedy heart of this.

So the next time I feel bored, or angry, or just plain ol' apathetic, I'm going to try to change my perspective and realize my life is already wonderful, I just haven't realized it yet.