I had a talk with a friend today…


she doesn’t read this blog, but I don’t think I will name her, not because our discussion was anything earth shattering or private, but because she could be so many of my friends…

We were talking about moving, and it’s hardships, and the joys and the work that moving involves. Not the physical work, there is always that, and it is always acknowledged, but rather, the emotional work of moving.

She and I have both moved a lot. And we have in common that the last move for both of us was unexpected, unwanted and because the spouse got a job here.

I haven’t talked about this in a while… bear with me.I really don’t even know where this post is going, and I am just writing, sometimes I write, and re-write, and polish and edit, but I am afraid this one will be raw, or it might never get out of my head. I am pretty sure it starts here with moving, and all that, but it won’t end there, and it could very well run around in circle before it is all through.

Perhaps I have never written about this, feel free to search the archives, I really can’t remember.

I get told fairly often that I am so “happy” or “fun”, and I like to hear that. And I think that I am those things, sometimes. But not as often as one might think.

I have friends who are in the midst of tough decisions, or life changes, and over and over, I have heard,

“Oh, I wish I could have your attitude” “You always make the best of things” “I don’t know how you stay so happy”

Sometimes I don’t know if those words are compliments or condemnation.

I like to think the people who say that admire my attitude, but in private moments I wonder….

Do they really mean they think I am shallow, or simple, incapable of feeling with any depth? Or that I am not very smart, so I don’t fully understand the emotion that surrounds life altering events? Or even the day to day ones?

(wow this has totally gotten away from moving as a topic and is now something completely different, thanks for hanging in there)

I want to make it clear that I do feel, and I do grasp the gravity.

Sometimes, I think it is because I feel so deeply, about everything, that I am forced to find the joy that each situation presents. If I did not strive for the joy, the anguish and sorrow and frustration could suck me in and drown me.

I think this is why I get perceived as happy, and carefree, and even immature. But it is not as simple as that, it is more calculated, and much less spontaneous.

I seek out the Joy. I hunt down the Fun. I beat the Happy out of the sadness.

I do this for me, for Dave and especially for my kids. I don’t have much to offer them, I won’t leave them riches.

I will leave them only memories of childhood, and I want them to be able to look back and say:

“Remember when Dad was diagnosed with cancer, how our friends came over and made sure we had food to eat and how they made us laugh?” (what would this time have been like if we had no friends? If I had been reluctant to get to know people, because I was afraid of the day I would leave)

“Remember when we had to move and leave our friends, and how we would miss them, but how each place we went we had the chance to make more friends and meet such interesting people? (everyone should be so fortunate to have the friends that we do, all over the world!)

” Remember how we were taught to find the beauty of God’s creation in every place we lived or visited?” (How amazing is it that we have seen so much, and how creative is our God, that every place is fabulously unique?)

“Wasn’t it fun that our house was filled with laughter and family and friends?” (How many nights have we laughed until our sides hurt, is there a better gift?)

and countless, countless, countless others…

So I sit here now, typing without a filter, thinking about tomorrow, and what sorrow it might bring.

And what joys are to be found.

and I think:

No, I am not so strong, and I am not always happy, but I am very stubborn and I WILL find the joy!


About Sandie

A little background: A mother of 3, two boys and a girl. Married young to a good man. No longer young, but he is still a good man. Grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, lived several years in small town Alaska, spent a couple years in the city of Madison, currently residing not too far from down town Anchorage. Drink a crazy amount of coffee. Fiercely loyal to my friends. Truly rabid in my defense of family. Beyond thankful that my God loves me enough to allow me to doubt and question.

3 responses »

  1. I’m with you! How often have I heard “how well you are doing” and I want to just stare at them. But I am and you are.There are two choices; move on and do your best or lay in bed under a pillow and yell and scream. What a choice! So along with my faith, Isaiah 43: 2,3, I have two sayings: Happiness is an inside affair and a quote from Camus”In the midst of winter I discovered that there was in me an invincible summer”. How those became me I don’t know but I am grateful and so are all our friends and family. I first discovered the Camus quote 40 years ago and was just astounded and said Yes, Yes, Yes! Phil gave me the poster.

  2. My Mom did (and is still doing) this for us. We moved a lot, not because my Dad was moving up, but because he is a discontented person and was always looking for greener grass. In the many times we moved when I was a child, the only negative comment I remember was when I was a sophomore in HS and she said “the next time I move will be to my grave!”. I don’t even want to try to count all the moves they have made since. Usually with Dad going before to work (or find it) leaving her with the packing and cleaning.

    She has always found beauty in life, especially in people and quickly made lasting friends. She has truly illustrated for me that “my hope is in the Lord” – enjoying this fair country, but knowing that her home is in the City Foursquare.

  3. Sandie – you are so smart, and classy, and real. Thank you for the challenge to spank the happy out of sadness and fight for the joy in every situation! I choose to go under, and be consumed by the sadness and overwhelmed by the truly unimportant. How much more I want to fight for joy, now. Thank you.

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