Dare to Live
I've been thinking a lot lately about how Jenny & I spend our time together, how we support our family and what we do for work. About how it all fits together and ties in with the values we want to embody. We've been striving to create a life that allows us as much time to take our kids on adventures as possible. We want to see the world together. And we want to make sure the things we choose to pursue make the world a better place in some way, whether it's telling stories with our cameras or blogging about intentional parenting or making encouragement cards for folks to tell others they love them.
These last few years have been HARD for us. Some of our businesses haven't worked out like we'd planned. And Life has thrown us a few curve balls, with 2 of our 3 kids being diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis within the past 5 months. Life hasn't been the kindest to the Solars. It's been hard on our marriage. Hard on our stress levels. Hard on our bank account. Hard on our patience levels around the house. It's been hard on me dealing with the fact that right now we were supposed to be in Ireland, and we're in Kansas City. We had to postpone our 5 month family trip to Europe due to the kids' illnesses, and it's been tough. Life is hard and messy, but there's beauty and joy to be found amongst all the chaos.
Right now, in this moment, I'm happier than I've ever been. We've moved through the messiness and found grace + love. Jenny + I are closer than ever. Our marriage is healthier and stronger than ever (and we've been together for over 18 years now!). Life is settling down a bit and dealing with the kids CF treatments has forced us to slow down and enjoy our time together a lot more. Max is healthier than we've seen him in two years and he has that youthful exuberance back again. He's put on 20 pounds and is laughing again. More importantly, he's healthy enough to pester his mom and sisters. Our house is filled with so much joy for the first time in a long time. Nightly tickle fights and wrestling matches and our weekends are filled with Fun Fests (Fun Fest = make a list of all the fun things you can do in a day and then do them).
And for the first time, in a long time, the path I've been on is lighting me up. My time is filled with projects that make me happy. And that was missing for a long time. Amongst all the chaos, I've found happiness and contentment. I've chosen to move through my frustrations and anger at what was going on in my life and I've got to a place of acceptance and love. I want to live from that place for the rest of my days. Surrendering to whatever comes my way and responding with LOVE.
Friends, the point of this post is this...you never know what life is going to throw your way. Oftentimes what shows up in life is not what you want or ever want to deal with, but that's not how life works. I know you all have dreams for yourselves. You all have an idea of how you want to spend your time. I'm urging you to start right now and take tiny steps towards those dreams. Just wake up every day, start with some gratitude and love and live the rest of the day from that mental space.
I'm living proof that if you never ever give up, and put LOVE at the forefront of your life, that you'll get to where you want to be. It hasn't been easy, and I have a long way to go. But if life was always easy, would you ever be able to fully appreciate the journey? The struggles have made me stronger, a better husband, a better father, and a better human.
I know you're going through something... we all have that something. But I want you to never give up. Ever. You deserve to live the life of your dreams. We all do. And it's not an easy path to get there. Just keep going and let a wide open love guide you, you'll always be on the path to the life you envision. You can find happiness amidst life's ups and downs. Don't let life keep you from living.