Jumping Off by Leslie Anderson Oregon

Leslie Anderson Oregon
Sunset in West Maui

At the end of my life, I’ll have all these snapshots of memories in my mind. Sunsets in Maui, Yellowstone National Park, driving a 1972 Lincoln in 2021 and smiling the whole time, raising our kids, and millions of other moments that have made up my life as a whole.

Sometimes I get stuck and I forget these amazing memories though. I forget the privilege of living, and the privileged life I live to be a inhabitant of earth.

Getting stuck is interesting because it happens to all of us. It’s so easy to do, and yet so difficult to get out of that stuck place of despair.

It seems nearly impossible at the time; when we run into hardships and trials. Life can be cruel, unfair, and sometimes we make our own hardships along the way. I know I have. I’ve messed up royally at times and I’ve wondered if I could ever figure things out. Somehow I always have figured it out, but it hasn’t come easy, that’s for sure.

There’s no secret formula that I’ve found or a recipe to satisfaction. I still struggle sometimes as I’m pretty sure we all do. I wish for brighter days or for different problems than the ones I have. The truth is, I don’t want any problems. Which happens to be a problem in and of itself, but that’s another story for another day.

The interesting thing is that when I stop to look around in the hardest moments, if I really look hard, I can’t see my way out. But if I stop, breathe, and take in the present, it all becomes clearer somehow.

Getting off the ride that life has taken me on has been the best adventure ever. Jason and I recently decided to stop striving for anything and to truly start living.

Yes, we still need to make a living and pay the bills. Yes, we have challenges and stresses, but we have chosen to no longer allow those to rule our lives.

It’s been such a welcome change as we wake up to the natural alarm clocks of our bodies, rather than an irritating chime of a clock. We work during the day, and shut it off at night time, spending time cooking, with our family, and doing the normal routines of life, like watering flowers, reading books, and maybe a load of laundry or two.

We’re planning vacations and outings together, deciding where we want to go and being intentional about fulfilling both our needs and wants when we do have adventures planned.

Snorkel in Maui with my faves – Jason and Mason

We’ve spent countless hours talking, praying, and reading together in the last year. As we’ve committed, we are both growing into different people than we used to be. It’s pretty amazing actually.

Neither one of us has ever been good about rest. Now, we both rest when we need it. I’ve never been one to be idle, I thought busy was what you were supposed to do. But I’ve learned that’s far from the truth.

Maui Hawaii rainbow
Rainbow in Maui

There have been times recently that I’ve stared out the car window for hours at the scenery when we’re on trips, making more of those snapshot memories in my mind so that I can soak up every moment of living while I have the chance.

Enjoying the creative outlets of photography, writing, and immersing myself in everything I do have been life altering. I just don’t care about many things that I used to unless it involves myself, my loved ones, or trusted friends and fully being present in my life. Everything else can go, and I could care less.

For the rest of my life I’ll be here, working on this because it’s a process. But I’m here for it, and all along the way I’ll be taking in those Maui sunsets and building a life and a bank of more of those memories that is soul fulfilling.

Leslie Anderson Salem Oregon
Aloha Maui!

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