Life’s changes can be hard to accept


Attitude is everything.
I have learned this, if nothing else, in the journey of this life.
Bright outlook. In December of 2000, I watched with horror as smoke billowed out of my children’s bedrooms and one fire department after another arrived on our lawn.
Flashing lights, shouts of increasing magnitude for additional water, firefighters crawling on the roof – it all seemed too surreal to take in.
We counted our blessings.
No one was hurt.
We lost so much, but still had one another.
After it was determined that the house needed to be completely rebuilt from the inside out, I decided to try to look upon this as the chance to create positive change.
We decided to add on to the existing home, something we had been saving for several years to do.
I threw myself into the work, painting and staining every single wall and board of the entire home myself.
It was a huge undertaking, and I paid for it, suffering with tendinitis for close to three years after finishing the huge project.
It is now almost impossible to leave this beautiful house, after giving it blood, sweat and tears, having worked so hard to make every part of this home as close to perfect as a home can get.
But, we have it for sale.
Fire to farm. If it sells, we will move to a farm we have recently purchased. The small farm sits back on a long lane, and the tranquility is beyond description.
If we had not had that fire, life may have remained unchanged. The fire was, it turns out, a turning point in many ways.
Life has handed us plenty of lemons. We have found a way to make lemonade, for sure, while swallowing a dozen bitter pills along with it.
I have continually been amazed to know there are people who say they never could have survived all we have – two children who have battled serious health issues, the loss of a dear parent all too soon, the tragic death of my best friend, the house fire, my own surgery during the time we were displaced from this house after the fire.
My answer has always been the same: What choice are we given?
Forging on. We must be tough, we must be strong and positive-minded and clear-thinking in order to travel this path of life.
There are simply no choices.
Once, a few years ago, our neighbor man told me, in so many words, that change can be very hard to accept.
Shortly after he told me this, I read that those who live the longest, happiest lives are those who can embrace change, knowing it is a healthy part of life.
There are certain things we are given no power over, but there are others we must be wise enough and strong enough to know how to handle.
Sometimes there is no choice but to move on.
Our adversaries and our adversities make us stronger, more empathetic; Our victories on the other side of those tough times become even more sweet.
Life is good. Don’t let anyone tell you any different!


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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, in college.