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Living…Happily Ever After

And while they did indeed live happily ever after; the point, gentlemen, is that they lived.

This quote from the Cinderella-esque movie, Ever After, is one of the best movie quotes of all time, in my opinion. It is so profound and applicable.

Today I watched this movie with one of my daughters who was sick. I’ve been thinking about this quote all afternoon; thinking about happiness and living and what it really means in daily life, down in the trenches.

Life can be messy. Life can hurt. Life can be hard. Life can also be full of satisfaction and healing and enjoyment.

Regardless of our situations in life, we can make the choice to live…to be happy…to see stars instead of mud. This doesn’t mean that life will be easy or that we should be blissfully rejoicing when facing inevitable pain or suffering or sorrow. But we can choose to face both the ups and downs, the joys and sorrows, with grace and peace and perseverance.

We can choose to live.

Whatever circumstances we face, we can still live “happily ever after” — even if the form and location and method of that happiness isn’t what we originally viewed as our preferred “package” of our mortal experience.

I know this sounds simplistic. For someone who may be struggling with overwhelming challenges, this may seem to be “easy for me to say.” Believe me, my current roller coaster ride is not one I would have originally chosen. However, we have met people and made friends and had experiences we would never have had the privilege of having as an integral part of our life if we weren’t on this particular ride at this particular time.

I am continuing to learn to be grateful for the blessings in my life, regardless of the shape in which they come. Living “happily ever after” is important — but really, the most vital thing is living. Living well, with “wellness” defined individually by our needs and situations and abilities.

May it be said of us that we experienced an individualized “happily ever after” — but that the point of our existence was that we lived.

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Vennesa March 3, 2011, 6:41 pm

    I love that movie!
    Oh, and my daughter stayed home sick today too. I wish I would have sat down with her and watched a good movie.
    Vennesa recently posted…Vote for Pedro – or VennesaMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 3, 2011, 11:36 pm

    Michelle, when you’re writing do you ever feel like you’re writing for a specific person? Well, today you did. Love you.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Bargain Shopping in the RecessionMy Profile

  • Janiel Miller March 4, 2011, 12:42 am

    I LOVE this. Beautiful quote. Beautiful post. So pertinent and true. It’s the lesson I am trying to learn now, and you put it very well. So if you wrote it for Alison, you also wrote it for me. (And I’m sure we’re not the only ones.)

    Thanks, Michelle.

  • Pattyann March 4, 2011, 7:37 am

    I feel exactly the same way about this one. Great job on the blog post today!! It is an important lesson for all of us.
    Pattyann recently posted…The Difference One Day Can MakeMy Profile

  • Jil March 6, 2011, 9:22 am

    I think that sometimes when we are in the midst of the trenches it is hard to see the happily ever after, or even the living part that we would have for ourselves. But when we get to the other side of that trial we can see that we’ve attained so much more and I think that is truly the living part. This is the up that helps us through the next down that we hit.

    Great post!!

  • Michelle D March 6, 2011, 3:10 pm

    There will always be another time to sit with a sick child and watch a movie or play a game or whatever s/he likes to do. :)

    I am still learning this lesson, but I am getting better at setting aside the “have-to-do” for the “fun-to-do” in moments like this!

  • Michelle D March 6, 2011, 3:13 pm

    Alison (and Janiel), thank you. I usually feel like I’m writing for myself – in an “I need to remember this!” type of way.

    Three cheers to all of us trying to learn to live our own version of happily ever after!

  • Michelle D March 6, 2011, 3:20 pm

    Thank you, everyone!

    I am a big proponent of focusing on what is going to help me get through a challenge. I am an optimist by hard work and determination and practice, not by natural tendency. I have definitely learned this the hard way. Life can be difficult but the point is to LIVE it – the ups *and* the downs, the joys *and* the sorrows.

    Thanks for your encouragement. Let’s help each other on our journeys!

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