Monday, September 17, 2012

Willhite's Words

Hey, Tales from A Far readers! I'm so excited Amanda asked me to include a little guest post while she's on vacation. My name is Meagan and I blog over at Willhite's Words. I'm definitely new to this blogging thing, having started back in January, but I love the other ladies I've gotten to know. Connecting with typical women like myself is my absolute favorite part of the blog world.

Before I go on I need to be honest about one thing. This is my first guest post. And I've gone back and forth a million times on what to write about. Should I just do a little bio? That seemed slightly boring, and I'm not that exciting. Should I try and be funny? No. After lots of thought (and waiting until the 11th hour to submit this post to Amanda) I finally settled on writing about something near and dear to my heart - the simple things in life.

Back in June, I went on vacation to Kauai with my husband. We knew we wanted to do something adventurous during this trip, so we settled on hiking the Kalalau Trail, one of America's 10 Most Dangerous Hikes according to Backpacker Magazine. You can read about our experiences here, here, and here. It was exhilarating, breathtaking, frightening, exhausting, peaceful, and a million other emotions all condensed into 3 days. There were moments where I seriously thought my life was going to end, but through these moments I learned a tremendous amount about myself. To call the hike "life changing" would be an understatement.

Scary moments, and moments where you find yourself having a personal conversation with God, have the ability to change your life for the better. You learn that you're stronger than you think, can do more than you believe you're capable of, and you discover a deeper place within yourself. You learn what's important in life. You also begin to see perfection in the smallest of moments.

At the end of the trail is a gorgeous beach and beautiful valley filled with waterfalls and unique plants. It felt like the Garden of Eden; truly a little piece of heaven on Earth. During my time in the valley I began to reflect upon these simple moments. Simple moments of silence with my husband. Simple moments of listening to Kalalau River rushing through giant boulders. Simple moments of laying in our tent, looking through the canopy of the trees and witnessing how the sunshine gently filtered through the leaves. Those moments are what life's about; not living in a giant house, driving a fancy car, having a huge amount of followers and friends on your blog/Twitter/Facebook, etc. Life is about the simple moments that take your breath away, no matter how small.

Prior to the hike I was incredibly Type A, stressed out over minute details, allowed my job to dictate my life, and didn't put enough time towards my marriage and relationship with God. I'm sure many of you can relate to this. In today's world it is so easy to over-schedule and go through the motions each day. We wake up, we go to work, we participate in our kids' activities or invest in our own hobbies. A home-cooked family dinner can be an afterthought. We're controlled by technology, always connected with the little dings our phones make with each text, tweet, and email. And you stay-at-home moms? You have the hardest job in the world. Sure, days at the spa or a great hot fudge sundae are nice treats, but they're temporary. My point to all of this is you can find true happiness by taking the time to take a deep breath, put some extra love in your heart, and look at situation with a different lens. Let me explain.

Your house is a mess because your kids haven't cleaned up their toys although you've asked them seventy-five times. Frustrating? Yes. But think of all the fun they had while playing. That mess is a product of happiness.

You have someone tailgating you while driving. So annoying. Maybe they're a jerk. Or maybe they're in a rush to visit someone who has a limited amount of time left on this planet. You just never know.

You're at the grocery store and are annoyed because you can't find a particular item. Be grateful. Be grateful that you can drive to a store and buy food. You have more of a selection than the majority of people in this world.

You delegate responsibilities to your co-workers. Your expectations for them don't become a reality and they don't follow your directions. Maybe they're passive-aggressive. Or maybe they didn't understand the task at hand and truly were doing their best.

And those small moments? They're everywhere. Watching a movie with your husband. Baking cookies with your kids. Hearing a great song on the radio for the first time. An amazing meal at a restaurant. The sound of your dogs sleeping. Gazing at the stars in the sky. You just have to take the time to notice them.

The moral of the story is that that majority of people truly are good. People want to do their best. People want to help. People want to have deep, meaningful relationships. And those who don't? Well, you really don't need to waste your time on them anyways since they're not bringing out the best in you.

And those small moments? Start looking for them. Now :)

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