Bittersweet

“You’ve got to take the bitter with the sweet.” was a life long lesson repeated to me by my Father throughout my childhood, adolescence, and most of my adult life, pretty much until he passed. He was right. Life doesn’t come with a return policy, it’s pretty much an As Is sale.

Sometimes, bitter and sweet combine, and a truly happy thing has happened, but a small cloud hangs over it nonetheless. Today, for instance, my daughter sent me a photo of her airline reservation; a trip back to Florida. She’ll see her friends, her dad, her brother, her sister, her grandmother, and its a wonderful thing. She leaves New Year’s Eve morning.

And so I will not be surrounded by family come New Year’s Day. And so the cloud hangs a little. Just enough.

But such is life. Sometimes the bitter is just that. And a seemingly endless amount of wrong turns just so happen to be the path, the lesson, the notches in my belt. And voila! therein lies the sweet.

Moving from the bitter into the sweet can take some doing, however. For the first six months after moving to Seattle, there was plenty of bitter. Plenty. No job, expensive housing, no place to live. What were we thinking? How foolish were we to think we could ever make this work?

But then we did.

And the jobs I had, the sheer wonder of “what am I doing here?” whether it be on the job, or off. So many exits from a familiar Walgreens or Target, only to find I wasn’t in Florida. Surprised, and sad, each and every time. “Oh yeah. I live in Washington…”.

The path turned and twisted and bent in directions only a yogi would appreciate (only kidding, gymnasts would as well), but I somehow managed to move through it wrapped in love. I still am. Wrapped in an embrace of “Let’s see what’s here.”, digging the moment.

I’ll miss Katy while she’s gone, but I won’t miss the experiences open to and in front of me. It doesn’t matter how I spend it. It only matters what I give it.

And although I’ve preached the “you’ve got to take the bitter with the sweet, there’s a reason for that, so don’t you dare miss a moment” for the better part of a decade in my classes, and to myself, I think I finally learned what that means. Maybe its my age, maybe its my geography, maybe its my intuitive sense, I don’t know. But it’s pretty sweet.

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