Closed Doors, Open Windows

Whoever came up with the saying, “When God closes a door, He opens a window” likely meant well. I mean the phrase certainly touches on the ideas of hope and potential and conjures up positive vibes. You could add to the saying another chipper phrase, such as …

– “There’s something better out there!” or “It’s all going to work out!” –

and you’ll have placed whatever opportunity that had screamed “NO!” in your face into a nice box, wrapped it up with shiny paper, and tied a ribbon around it.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net

If only overcoming disappointments was that easy. 😉

The reality is that when things don’t work out the way we had hoped they would, we get stuck. Sitting on the couch with a bag of chips or a tub of ice cream seems like the best option at the moment. We lose faith in God and in ourselves. We lack the desire and motivation to get up, shake off the dust (or potato chip crumbs), and try again.

I’m sure we’ve all had a door (or two or twenty) closed in our lives. I’ve had my share in the areas of relationships, school and work. At the time I just wanted to wallow in self-pity because I didn’t believe there was something better out there for me. But thankfully, I was wrong. I’ll say it again – I was wrong! Because life did go on after the DTR that left me with a fractured heart. Life did go on after I received a rejection letter from the graduate school I had applied to. Life did go on after I had my firstborn and realized I wouldn’t be able to return to work as soon as I had planned, leaving me with no choice but to toss the first 1,000 internship hours (out of 3,000) that I had acquired for my counseling license.

This last closed door was a tough one for me to accept. I had had my education and career path all planned out (finish grad school before age 30 and get my license by age 35) and things were going my way until mamahood pulled me back by my unwashed hair and plopped me down on my behind to nurse, diaper, carry and bounce my high need son 24/7. Switching gears from an overachieving and goal-oriented person to one who literally could not get out of the house at times drove me crazy. Giving up the timeline I had set and accepting my new full-time “job” took a lot of grumbling, time, more grumbling and letting go. (I think I’ve blogged about this whole process so many times!) Looking back, I had spent so much time sitting in front of that closed door and trying to get it open, twisting and yanking on the doorknob as hard as I could—without any progress. It wasn’t until two years ago that I was finally willing to take my hand off the knob and step back from the door.

What made me step away? Well, it was that window.

Image courtesy of Suat Eman/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Suat Eman/freedigitalphotos.net

You know, the window from that saying up above. For me, God had through a series of events opened up the opportunity for me to write. When I turned my head from the closed door and glimpsed the great view from the window, I became energized again. There was hope and so much potential outside beckoning for me to come (and maybe a few palm trees, too). The closer I walked to the window, the more fulfilled I felt. I was also so grateful to have had that door close on me eight years ago. Because if it hadn’t, I might not ever have gone down the path I did and experienced all the heart-changing things I have been blessed to go through as a mom, and now as a writer.

So maybe the saying, “When God closes a door, He opens a window” is really all it’s cut out to be. It just takes time, trust and patience to move past a disappointment and regain hope. But once you do, you just might find yourself saying and believing those other phrases that “There’s something better out there!” and “It’s all going to work out!” 🙂

I picked OneRepublic’s song, “Stop and Stare” for this post. The lyrics reflect the uncomfortable process of moving from the closed door to the open window.

What windows have been opened in your life that have been the result of closed doors?

P.S. I can also say without a doubt that I’m glad that those doors mentioned above closed on me in the relationship and school areas as well. The windows that opened after (meeting and marrying hubby and the grad school I did get accepted into) were way beyond what I could have hoped for. 🙂

It’s a Good Life

I’ve been telling people this past year that I want to be a more fun person.  I almost wanted to make it my new year’s resolution, but then, if you make being fun an assignment, it really isn’t that fun anymore, is it?  😛 So it’s been more of a self-analytical learning process that I’ve been on – trying to understand why I’m so square and finding ways to not be. 🙂  There’s likely a dozen reasons why I am the way I am, but it all really comes down to genetics and upbringing, which are things I can’t change, so I just need to make do with what I’ve got!  I especially want to inject more fun into myself so I can be a positive influence on E and C.  I mean, what kid wants a party pooper (aka. little old me) raining on their parade every day?  

For starters, I’m really trying to put aside the anal part of myself when I play with the kids.  This is difficult because for some strange reason (haha) I find myself wanting to clean up whenever I am supposed to be playing.  I even use the excuse that it will give us more space on the floor to play on if I just put the legos or books or cars away first!  This definitely doesn’t go over well with the kids who couldn’t care less how many things are obstructing the carpet.  So my motto now is “play first, clean up later”.   Once all the fun is over, there will still be plenty of toys to put away (and cleaning up can be made into a game itself!).

I’ve discovered though that I’m not very good at playing.  Maybe I’m just not into racing hot wheel cars or playing grocery store for hours on end.  A lot of times I find my mind wandering to things I want to get done (ie. dishes) or trying to stifle a yawn.  😛  Hubby, on the other hand, can make any activity fun and interesting for the kids.  The other day he set some cotton balls on fire with a new flint he bought – all this on the dining room table!  The kids were fairly entertained as I hovered nearby with a fire extinguisher in hand (not really cause we don’t own one, but it would have been nice!). 

The other issue I have that hinders my fun-ness is that I try to micromanage the kids’ fun. 😛  I think many parents do this from what I’ve overheard on the playground: “Don’t touch the dirt!” and “Pour the sand here, not there!”  And at home, it’s hard not to cringe when the kids want to mix different play dough colors together or when ingredients go flying all over the kitchen counter when we’re making muffins.  But I’m trying to reign in my nit-picking and just go with the flow! 

Honestly, life (especially childhood) is too short to not have fun.  And I will stay square if I miss out on these spontaneous and carefree moments.  Thank God that I have this second chance to be a kid again, or maybe for the first time cause hubby calls me “the one without a childhood”.  😛  Just gotta remind myself not to complain because it really is a good life (if I don’t let my squareness get in the way!).  🙂

Here are some pictures of my recent fun (aka. mostly non-anal and non-micromanaging) times of playing with the kids:

 

 

  
And here’s a song by One Republic, “Good Life“, that gets you moving!

What makes your life a good life?