“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle, you can live as if everything is a miracle.” ~ Albert Einstein
When I was younger, I wholeheartedly believed in miracles. I saw my life as a series of miracles. Breathing. The sun coming warm through my window. The leaves changing color in the fall. Running & feeling inside my body. Reading books & getting lost in the story. Writing for hours. But then things started to change, and as the years went by, so did my belief in miracles.
I got married. Everything fell into place perfectly. It was a series of little miracles: meeting him in an unlikely way, having him propose two weeks (no joke!) later, me listening to my heart instead of my head & saying yes, having a tiny but lovely wedding. And then we started living together. His dirty dishes all over the house. Ditto, his dirty laundry. Snoring. Me being a night owl, him liking to get up at the crack of dawn. The way he was used to doing things & was inflexible about doing them differently (i.e. my way). Um, not such a miracle then.
My body, miracle of miracles, made two beautiful people. I got to feel them kicking inside me. I got to be there when they took their first breaths. I got to hold them & have them fall asleep on my chest. I got to watch them grow & change & learn. I got to experience their wonder & see how life looked to someone brand new to it. And then they grew up some and started talking back. And not listening. And being loud. And fighting with each other, then sometimes with me. So yeah, not such miracles anymore, it didn’t seem.
I wrote my first novel in total anonymity, holed up in my little writing room with not one person waiting for it to get done. A miracle because I got everything I needed to write that book when I needed it. I’d jot notes in my journal like I need someone who knows about schizophrenia and a week or so later, I got introduced to a woman who had lived with an adult schizophrenic & who graciously answered all my questions about how it was to be with him when he was off his medications. That kind of thing happened over and over again while I was writing that book. I’d been nervous: writing it had seemed daunting and I’d been unsure of my ability. Four years later, it was done. A miracle, for sure. Then readers loved it. And so did critics. And it won an award & a grant. All miracles, too. Then the rejections started rolling in. And readers started asking for my next book. And the pressure mounted to write something not only just as good but even better the next time. Okay, maybe not such a miraculous thing after all.
AND THE POINT IS . . .
A few years ago, I realized I was happier when I was younger. At first, I thought it was because I had less responsibility & more free time to do things I loved. Maybe it was some of that. But, too, it was because all those years ago I saw life as a series of miracles. If life isn’t a series of miracles, then it’s just a series of random happenings. And if it’s just a series of random happenings, then where’s the wonder? I believe Einstein was right. At least for me, not looking for the miracles stole my joy. And I’d rather be happy. So now I make a point of looking for & expecting miracles. Like most things in life, it’s a choice & that’s the way I choose to live.
How do you feel about miracles? What’s your choice? Please feel free to share your thoughts & experiences in the comment box below.
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Grand Prize Winner, Grant Winner, & Silver Medal Winner