Have you ever wondered where our silver linings come from? Why some folks can easily find one and others can’t? Maybe it’s a gift we are given, maybe it’s an inheritance or maybe we have to find them all on our own. No matter how we come into ownership of these brilliant and beautiful treasures they are magnificent indeed to behold. I know how I came into mine, and why I’ve held onto it all my life. It goes something like this…
Anyone who knows the Dowling - Olachia clan will hands down inform you we're a Disney family. It's just in our DNA I guess. Maybe the "whole whistle while you work" concept is so ingrained in us we have no problem finding our silver linings haha. That said it shouldn't be a surprise our family's favorite quote, our motto of sorts, one we hold near and dear is from a Disney movie. Those who know us well will tell you without hesitation it's from Micah’s favorite movie, Lilo and Stitch. It goes something like this, “This is my family. I found it all on my own. It’s little, and broken but still good. Yeah, still good.” This particular saying sums up our small and unique tribe. I can’t ever remember a time when I wasn't laughing or smiling as a kid. Now this doesn't mean I didn't have my own battles, didn't have tears stream down my face because they most definitely had their 15 minutes of fame along the way. I was just not one to ever wallow. When I say I was a happy child, it means I was never down long. I've always had this keen ability, an internal navigation tool allowing me to find the silver lining in any situation.
Life lesson #31: Finding our silver linings isn’t about the expected. We only find them in the least likely places. The only way life uncovers and reveals a silver lining is when we let go of our expectations. Embracing our differences, our difficulties with joy and laughter shatters our fear. By allowing our eyes to focus on the good, staying optimistic when the skies turn dark, we can decode, decipher and unravel any worry concealing our silver lining. Our constant joy, our love of life and belief in each other can only be found in our unshakable faith in the Lord and in our foundation as a family.
Did I just obtain my ability to be happy? Well, truthfully you could say optimism is my gift. I'm one of those who comes by it naturally. As a little girl, just as today, I never had a problem opening up and sharing this gift with anyone near me. Laughter, humor and wit have always played a part in my outlook. Without looking to the bright side I can seriously say I don't know where i would be today. Life hasn't been easy, but it has been amazing. Growing up, I was surrounded by so many wonderful people and experiences. Our family truly has lived life to its fullest from living abroad to making memories all across the States. I honestly don't remember staying still much. My granny used to call us street rats because we were always on the go. Till this day, we live the same way.
Life and the way its unfolded has most definitely been entertaining. I have such great memories of my folks with so many of our extended family gatherings whether those entailed BBQ’s or running around amusement parks together. As a little girl I watched my mom and dad, in awe fall in love each and every day over and over again. Growing up I was touched glimpsing their sacrifice for one others needs. I learned early on amongst our little clan of three, age was nothing but a number. When I think of my parents I know they lived life with me, beside me and absolutely as I always like to say out loud. For this reason alone our lives our full to this very day. As grandparents, my mom and dad are rock stars and our kid’s friends will be the first to confirm this. As grandparents now in their late 60's and early 70's my parents experience life in the moment, sharing the same spontaneity and exuberance for life with my children, as they did in their early 20's.
Today as parents ourselves, as a couple now in our 40's, Johnny and I carry the same drive, energy and motivation in preserving our zest for life. As close kindred we enjoy the flood of enjoyment, the nonstop enthusiasm and unpredictability of our Ohana. Johnny and I have inherited a determination, vitality, and vigor for living life WITH our kids instead of simply through them. This quality, this gift and zeal has made all the difference in the makeup of who are collectively. Just as my parents did, and still do, we enjoy the unpredictability life has to offer. We believe in living in the moment, sharing unplanned, impromptu and genuinely last minute adventures. Johnny and I have continued this get up and go way of life simply by not being bystanders. We participate in the practice of living life with our boys. We laugh, tease each other, and play together. Whether it's crossfit, a pickup game of street hockey, a late night dinner, an impulsive drive to the beach or hoping on a roller coaster together, we live life with a wild charismatic gusto. After all life is meant to be lived, not overly planned, posed for or navigated with a predictable mode of operation. The key to staying young at heart is never giving up your ability to appreciate the unpredictable. And for this very reason I can always find the silver lining even in the worst of situations.
I was born and blessed with this gift, the ability to overlook the impossible through example. My parents, the people they chose to surround themselves with, further instilled this gift in me. I was never lonely nor was I ever truly bored. Life in our household was anything but ordinary but neither was my capacity for joy. Through everything, the diabetes, the stroke, the blood clots, breast cancer, RA, and more, they all could have defeated me. I could have given up, been destroyed enabling my hope and my joy to be annihilated but optimism and joy wouldn't allow it. For this reasons alone, I have never ever surrendered my sense of humor. I can’t guarantee you much else in life but I can assure you this, you can bet the bank I NEVER will!
I may not have gold, but my silver linings are ALL the riches I will ever need.