I don't think I can do today's challenge. I don't write to stir trouble.
Her response caught me off guard.
I think you do already...believe it or not! You already stand up and say writing and celebrating doesn't have to be what we think it is.
As much as I tried to remain in my uncontroversial bubble, her words kept swarming me. I asked Andy, "Do you think I'm controversial in my writing? Do I poke at tradition and push conventional beliefs?"
He laughed, nearly choking on his drink. "You have to ask?"
He looked over at me and realized I wasn't joking. This made him laugh again. "You're always pushing people to move out of their comfort zones. You spin these stories that are just ordinary moments that make people smile or soften and then you give a little twist at the end that makes us pause and think about our own lives in a new way. Yeah, you push convention."
"I'm not mean!" I hear the defensiveness in my own voice.
"No, you're not mean. You're also not status quo." He shakes his head again. "Like you don't know it."
I shrugged. "I'm just writing truth."
He laughed, "That's why I love you. You speak the truth, whether people want to hear it or not. You just kind of lay it out, no sugar coating."
This time it was my turn to laugh. "So what are you saying? I have strong beliefs?"
"It's all part of the package," he teased. "Low maintenance, but you say it how you see it."
And this is how I see it:
Everyone has something to celebrate.
I'm a little worn out by all of the complaining and nagging and whining that fills our days. My ears hurt from people wishing their lives were easier, less complicated, or more blessed. I'm tired of hearing about how busy and overwhelmed everyone is -- all of the time.
Because here's the deal:
Every single complaint can be turned into a celebration.
It's all about the perspective. I can complain about the laundry, or I can celebrate having a healthy and active family. I can crab about doing dishes again, or I can celebrate the home cooked, delicious, plentiful meal. I can grumble about the papers, books, iPads, paper airplanes, milk glasses, and back packs on the kitchen table or I can celebrate that the kitchen table is not just a dumping ground, but a gathering place every afternoon.
I turn each complaint inside out all day long. When someone snaps at me, I'm glad they trust me enough to shoulder their frustration and be kind anyway. When I'm cut off while driving, I'm thankful I was paying attention and avoided an accident. When I'm sore from exercising, I'm grateful I had time for an extra mile the night before.
When I choose to celebrate, I no longer have space for complaining. Celebration is my catalyst for caring about others, for being kind, and for making the world a better place. Everyone has something to celebrate. Let's start today!
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