It’s January, and we’re back to the time of year of taking down the Christmas tree, wrapping up the sparkly lights, and scooting back into the groove of daily living. But this year, daily living looks a whole lot different for us, as I’m sure it does for a lot of you.
Instead of seeing a fleecy layer of snow covering our former neighborhood street in Ohio, USA, we now look out onto the snowy streets running by our cozy expat house in Prague. I love when the sun peaks out from behind its foggy mask, and the snow comes to life with a million glimmers. But here, without curbs to dam back much of the mud and without fixes to cobblestone potholes as big as the Czech Šköda cars, the condition of the roads here quickly transforms the snowy Prague wonderland into piles of black slush. Somehow, January’s cold gloom makes seeing the grimy slush in the streets easier to see than the snow sparkling across the tree limbs and rooftops.
It is then I need to remember the art of reframing.
For me, it doesn’t take many days of problems with service with basic things here in Prague for me to begin to feel frustrated. Frustrated at the size of our dorm-sized refrigerator and our tiny eco-friendly washer and dryer (for a family of five). Bothered by the way our internet works on some days, and does nothing but frizzle on others. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera—the list for expats in a far-behind country is long. Really.
BUT, if I reframe the situation, and I look through a different lens, I can remember the benefits, see the hidden beauty, and find new pieces of life for which to be thankful. For me, if I didn’t experience the drawbacks, I wouldn’t have a chance to experience the beauty—of seeing Europe as a family, of gaining immeasurable amount of writing material for future novels, of our children getting the chance at an incredible education, and so much more.
The truth is we all have problems and heartaches in life, yearly, monthly, daily, even hourly. Certainly, one of the great abilities in life is to find the good and to choose love, and develop a thick patience for the irritants. For when we can, a whole world of possibility and adventure rests at the doorstep to our lives. All we have to do is choose to open the door… and life becomes a take-your-breath-away adventure.
I hope you are having a super start to your new year, to your 2010. Here’s to the daring adventure of watching for life’s beauties, practicing seeing the snowy rooftops instead of the slushy streets, (and finding new ways to fit more into my refrigerator door …)
Starting the conversation: What ways have you learned to reframe pieces of your life?
(I’d love to hear your comments in the comments section, below)