I’m pretty sure everyone has this crazy idea that their lives will eventually end up perfect. They’ll have the perfect husband/wife and live in a perfect 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom house. They’ll have a dog, and maybe a cat and they’ll have family dinner on Sundays. And they’re going to have 2 kids. A boy and a girl. Of course, the boy will come first so he can protect his little sister. Every other week they’re going to plan a date night. Maybe the movies, or maybe just dinner. Or maybe even just a walk in the park. Nothing is small enough for them. They’ll appreciate everything that comes their way. When their children grow up, they’ll become something great. A doctor, a lawyer or a dentist. And when it comes time for them to retire, they’ll sell their home and move to the country. Or even buy a mobile home and travel the country. Probably something they’ve always wanted to do. They’ll come back from their travels to visit the kids and the grandkids. They’re going to love them so much and spoil them. Maybe even more so than their children. They’re going to grow up and love that their grandparents were there for them. To slip them that odd 5 dollar bill. Or even a candy bar when their parents aren’t looking. And when the time comes, they’re going to be laying in their bed together, holding hands and sharing one last kiss before they drift off.

Bullshit.

You’re going to be in a few relationships before you actually find the right person. And even then, you could figure out years after you’re married that they weren’t right for you at all. But if you do find the right person on the first try, and get married and spend the rest of your lives together, you’re amazing. Some people just aren’t that lucky. You’re going to be in a relationship with someone, and you’re going to fight. You’re going to say you hate each other and then kiss and make up. Or you’ll end things with that person without even trying. That’s the problem with this generation. Nobody takes the time to talk things out with their significant other. They have one small fight about something stupid, and think that person isn’t the one for them, and they spend the rest of their lives hating each other for absolutely no reason. And it turns out the reason was that they had a fight about what picture to hang up on the wall, or what type of appliances they should have in the house. That’s it. That’s all it takes. One small, stupid argument. People don’t think anymore.

You’re not going to live in that perfect 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom house on the first try. You’re going to have a crappy apartment that needs fixing up. Pipes are going to leak. Your floors will come apart. Maybe you’ll lose hot water for a week. Whatever it is, you’re going to learn to get through it. You’re going to toughen up and fix what needs to be fixed.

You’re going to fight with your parents. A lot. But that’s natural. That’s life. Nobody EVER said life was easy. When you’re all moved out of your parents house and you guys fight, that family dinner will be called off. Maybe a bunch of them will be called off because you can’t stand to be in the same room as your mom or dad. But guess what? Your parents are going to love the crap out of you. No matter what you say to them and no matter what you do. They brought you into this world for a reason. You are alive for the reason. To love and be loved.

Now, fast forward. You’re married. You’re still going to plan a date night every now and then. It’s a good thing to have. Some time away. But on that one day, you’re going to get the news. Could be great news to some. Could be surprising news to others. You’re having a baby. Maybe you didn’t really plan on it, but you’re overjoyed. To have this little human being that you’re going to love forever, just like your parents love you. Be grateful. Be appreciative. Because there are people in this world that don’t have the ability to become a mother or a father, and that breaks their hearts. Now maybe you wanted a boy first, but instead you’re having a daughter. Or maybe you’re even having twins or triplets. Be happy with what you have. Love them. Cherish them. Hold their hands and their hearts forever. They’ll appreciate you too.

Your children have grown up. But along the way, you’ve argued many times with them about their career choices and what they should be. But I’m sure you’ve fought with your parents too about your career choice. But it doesn’t matter. They need to do what’s right for them, just like you did what was right for you.

Age 70. You’re retired. You’re a grandparent. Your grandchild loves to play outdoors and loves to get into things they’re not supposed to. Who hasn’t? Maybe you will give them the odd 5 dollar bill. Maybe you’ll even give them a 10. That child will love you to the moon and back. That grandchild will love the fact that you give them better Christmas gifts than their own mom and dad. But that’s what makes you a special grandparent. Your love and kindness will go far.

The time has come. You’re 92 years old. Your significant other has already passed away. They loved you so much. They gave you the world. You had your ups and downs, but you learned to move past it. You remember all the great things you’ve accomplished together. And as you’re laying down in the hospital bed, taking that one last sip of god awful hospital juice, you smile. You smile because you know you did the absolute best you could. The best.

Now what I want you to do, and this is VERY important. I want you to go into the nearest bathroom, or to the nearest mirror. I want you to look at yourself, and I want you to smile. Smile as big as you can. Smile so wide that your cheeks start to hurt and you look like an absolute idiot. Because that’s how you’re supposed to feel. You’re supposed to feel like you have done the best you could in everything and even through the toughest times, you can still smile and laugh like a fool. But that’s a good thing. A great thing.

Smile… Please.

My story doesn’t compare to the great things that you could achieve.

In all honesty, I want to live in a small town. I want to live in a place where everyone knows you. You go to the same coffee shop every morning before work and they know your order. I don’t care if I’m in a small 1 bedroom 1 bathroom house. I don’t care if I’m in a run down apartment. I’m grateful with what I can get. I want to wake up every morning and smell fresh flowers in the Spring. Look outside my window in the Winter and see the soft snow fall. And in the Autumn I’ll go for a walk with the coloured leaves falling on top of me from the trees. That’s really all I want. It’s simple. It’s carefree. The way life should be.

Enjoy everything you have. One day you might not have it.

Be grateful. Be appreciative. Be generous. Be forgiving. But most importantly…………….

BE YOU!

Published by Allison Ecker