Monday, April 21, 2014

In the Eye of the Beholder

[Blog entry created by Mark Bonnema]

“I don’t want to go to work…. Its early… I wish I could push my snooze just one more time…” Welcome to my inner monologue in the morning as I crack open an eye and grasp for eye drops because I was too lazy to take my contacts out the night before. I do not dislike my job, but perhaps you can resonate with my tendency to bemoan alarm clocks and waking up early for work. I am not going to go so far as to call it human nature, but I think most of us feel like complaining, bemoaning, or grumping about our issues and annoyances from time to time. 

I see life through a pretty average lens – almost 30 years old, made it through school (a couple of times), have a job, cherish friends and family, have a strong faith, can never find enough time for hobbies and Netflix… life is good. Yet I find my reasons to complain.  Be it mornings, picking up dog doo-doo, home repairs, changing oil in the car, looking for a lost shoe, or not knowing what to cook for supper, I let little things get under my skin and sour my attitude.

When I catch myself in the act of being petty, annoyed, or impatient I try to take a step back, and widen my perspective. Being married to Ashley has made gaining a “wider perspective” pretty easy.

If you have been following Ashley’s blog over the past three weeks, you have likely noticed that she is full of determination, courage, bravery, compassion, hopes, dreams, and has an insatiable passion for life. Ashley maintains these admirable qualities despite the unsolicited circumstances that require her to fight for every breath, wake up early and spend endless hours doing therapy and inhalation treatments, take medications that both help and harm her body, worry about lung infection and inflammation, and cope with chronic shortness of breath. 

Cooking Class in Paris, 2O11
A Case of the Mondays
Ashley rarely, if ever, complains about life. If anyone has reason to do so, it would be her. But she does not let any problems, no matter how small or big get in her way. Rather, she takes life one breath at a time, trying to make each and every one count. She strives to make the most of each and every day, and lives like she wants to squeeze every last drop of life out of each day. I admire her for this. I love her for this (and many other reasons). She has taught me so much about living a full and meaningful life filled with and gratitude and passion. I only wish I were better at emulating her and living up to her example. She is a daily inspiration to me and reminds me not to take even one breath for granted.
squeeze every last drop

Today is Monday. Mondays have a reputation for giving people ample opportunities to complain and be grumpy.  Today I challenge you to widen your perspective. Be grateful for each breath you are given. 

How will you squeeze the most life out of today? 

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