Thursday, April 6, 2017

Parenthood: Expecting the Unexpected

One of my favorite news stories dealing with marriage, love, and families was written in 1973 by Jenkins Lloyd Jones. However, when often quoted, one of my favorite parts (highlighted in blue) is left out:
"There seems to be a superstition among many thousands of our young who hold hands and smooch in the drive-ins that marriage is a cottage surrounded by perpetual hollyhocks to which a perpetually young and handsome husband comes home to a perpetually young and ravishing wife. When the hollyhocks wither and boredom and bills appear the divorce courts are jammed.

Old Train Ride of Life
Divine discontent is okay within reason, for most human progress is the result not of achieving happiness, but of pursing it . . . The whole thrust of advertising is to make us unhappy with what we've got and eager for something else.
Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed. Most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise . . . Life is like an old-time rail journey — delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed.
The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."

Click HERE to see the original article in its entirety ("Big Rock Candy Mountains, " Deseret News, June 12, 1973)

The reality is that change is the only one element in life that is constant, and running around crying foul does little to resolve or understand issues when they arise.

When my wife and I got engaged, we were both college students with little money, owning an old, beat up car with no working heater, a broken door, and unexplainable engine problems. We even had to borrow a car from a family member to go on our honeymoon for fear that our own would die in route. Yet, we were content with the situation. Of course, we never realized how difficult life could become in many ways years later, but I think we have learned to deal with unforeseen obstacles over time.

Current media, friends, and coworkers sometimes will  try to entice us into believing that if we're unhappy, we just need to seek out happiness in other places instead of trying to resolve issues that require a little less thinking of our ourselves and more about thinking of others.

Again, if we can just develop the patience and fortitude to expect the unexpected, then when (not if) dirt gets flown/thrown in our faces, we have the skills to deal with it better.

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