“Having your hands full is a ludicrous blessing.” I read this sentence on Instagram recently, written by a woman whose books I have not yet read, and whose blog I have not yet followed, but when I read that sentence all I could think of was, ‘why could I have not written that?!’ It was like the most brilliant string of words I have read in a long while and I wanted to cry out, “yes, yes yes!” I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what is on my plate, the figurative not the literal, and assessing my life, where I am now, where I once was, where I thought I “ought to be” by now, versus where I actually am…I do that, perhaps too often, but examining your place in the world is not a bad idea now and then. It’s the dwelling on “where you are not” rather than the embracing of “where you are” that is the killer.
I was thinking, when I read that sentence, what a lonely life it would be to not have your hands full. Having to cook for someone, having to comfort someone, having to provide for someone, having to care for someone, or many some-bodies, means that you have people…People to love and people who need you. WHAT an extraordinary gift, to not be lonely or feel alone, or feel empty or bored, or be uninspired or apathetic. It really is ludicrous how enriched I feel by the fullness of my simple little world.
Sometimes, particularly this time of year, I find myself daunted by how much I have to “clean up” in my own life, when I spend nearly all of my waking hours and energy literally cleaning other people’s vacation houses and yards, and so little time tending my own fire, and I feel like my hands are so full sometimes, with stuff to do that isn’t even my own stuff, that I get to feeling overwhelmed…AND I hate that word. BUT then I think about where I actually AM in the world, on the planet, and I remember that I get to work in some of the most exquisite homes on the beach! AT the BEACH! I can listen to the ocean and have the sand between my toes 7 days a week if I so choose and I can, if I want to, sit on the patio or deck at any number of waterfront homes, ANY day of ANY week and see sunsets that often take my breath away. I get to be on an island that some people in the mid-west might dream their whole lives of seeing, and never get there, and here I am, there I am, day in and day out, and I realize, every time I do this, I am so blessed. Those thoughts wash away the malignant ones that make my heart heavy and my brain over-think, or my worries and woes get the best of me. I think about how my hands are full because I am busy with a job I love, that it allows me to keep a roof over my head, and pay for air conditioning, and food, and my truck to get me where I need to go… AND-AND-AND the abundance…having your hands full means your life is abundant and that is rich, no matter what the balance is in your checkbook. I needed to rethink what “busy” means, and for that initial opening sentence, I am thankful. It shifted my perspective. Eight words can totally modify your way of thinking if you are open to understanding them.
You have to love where you live and you have to love your life or you will spend way too many moments of your time on this planet in a state of unsettled unhappiness. I don’t know about you, but I feel, the older I get, like I don’t have time for that! I don’t want to be unsettled and I don’t want to be unhappy, so my brain must keep me thinking about THINGS, PEOPLE, LIFE, in a way that shifts to the upside, every time. My brain is in charge of my feelings and I must keep practicing good brain health, to keep all my pieces and thoughts heading in the right direction.
When you feel, oh how I loathe the word, “overwhelmed,” I’ve decided it is perhaps better to think of yourself as Juggling, as it’s a happy circus-like word, and it’s true, you are juggling, and that sounds stronger, and certainly like you’re far more talented than the word overwhelmed does. I associate that word, overwhelmed, with being weak and unable to cope, whereas juggling, well that is an awesome skill! Right??!! Keeping all those balls in the air, each one being touched at the precise moment necessary so that they are all in the air when they are supposed to be. When I read that sentence, “having your hands full is a ludicrous blessing” I understood how true it is, and perhaps twenty or thirty years ago, I would not have understood the gorgeousness of those words. My hands are full, my plate is full, my heart is full and my life is full. This way of thinking is good practice for contentment, shifting the way your brain thinks about being busy and having your hands full! Thanks to Instagram, and my reading that one sentence, yet another shift is occurring for me.