I found this quote the other day:
Happiness is found more often in times of struggle than in times of triumph. - Theodore Rubbih
When I initially read it, I must admit that I wondered about it, and whether I was taking full advantage of all of our current struggles.
But, later that day, I laughed during an experience that reminded me of the quote.
We had lived in our new home for EIGHT days without an outside, official garbage can. With six people, that is a long time. A really long time. I was driving down our street and was feeling particularly grumpy for some reason. Then, I saw it: The City Truck, delivering our cans. Excitedly, I told the kids, and we all unanimously cheered. The city worker was just leaving. We jumped out of our minivan and lined up in the driveway. We smiled big and waved big at her. Me and the four kids. She looked at us, smiled, and waved back. I'm still thinking that that was probably rare for her, and that she may have been laughing at such a silly sight. But, we were so happy. But, then again, maybe it wasn't so rare for her. Just going for that long without a way to dispose of garbage can probably give anyone a striking new appreciation and love for the city workers and garbage receptacles that they provide for us.
Even hours later, my mood was still quite cheerful. I was surprised by how extremely happy I was over such a small thing. But, then I thought of the quote above. It was true. I never would have thought twice about the garbage cans, if they had arrived the week previous, like I had ordered over the phone. I would have completely avoided the struggle to not produce any garbage, and to somehow put our garbage somewhere that we (or any crazy animals) would not smell it. BUT, then I would have also completely avoided the happiness I felt and will always remember after receiving receptacles for my garbage. I will always wave and smile big for the municipal workers, because I am, and hopefully will always be, really and truly grateful for their service.