Happy, despite

There's something about being out on the roads early in the morning. When I say 'early morning' I mean 3 or 4AM. 

Yes, it's still hard getting up that early, even though I've done it probably far too many times. But there's this peace and calm you feel when you're starting your day in pitch darkness, before anyone else looks to be awake. It's like time is put on pause, and the world slows down when you're up at that time. You're also not as distracted with (as many) notifications on your phone during those wee hours. 

With traffic signals flashing against the dark roads, the only sounds you hear are your own tires rolling through the empty streets. Oh, and some Keane playing in the background. 

You feel happy. Or I think it's happiness. And everything is fine.

Somehow during the day, you feel like you're in a race against time. You're inundated with information, things-to-do, e-mails to reply to, plans to make, a bucket of concerns--- but in those early hours, you feel like you can breathe at your own pace. And when you pause, and take those deep breaths, you become extra grateful and blessed for what is good in your life. The world is dark. But there is light shining between every crevice. My dad is now alone, without his wife, but my mom did leave him with three loving kids, who are now trying extra harder to love each other and live life with greater resilience. 

It's not always easy to find that joy, especially when you're going through a tough time. I know. But there are those quiet moments when you find yourself happy, and hopeful with the truth, despite how the world is turning. Let's be better with finding those moments. Or just try to wake up earlier even when we don't have to?!

Out of control

It's a little frightening sometimes to see that sickness is everywhere. It's among the people you know-- your family, co-workers, friends, neighbors. Or, you may be the one who is sick.  
Heart disease and cancer are still the top leading causes of death in the U.S., despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent every year to fight these diseases. I recently read about neurofibromatosis-- an incurable genetic disorder that causes tumors all over your body. Yes, these are visible tumors. No matter how medically advanced we are today, the existence of diseases like this reminds me that the human body is a beast of its own. 

Terror attacks seem to happen way too frequently than it should, too. The recent attack in Brussels has been the most violent act of terrorism in Europe since the attacks in Paris, which was only four months ago. But even in between the violence in Paris and Brussels, there were hundreds of other terror attacks (including those in San Bernardino and Ankara) around the world. Most of them went unnoticed, and were barely even reported [or Tweeted] as news. 

Without sounding so obvious, the older I get, the more I realize most of life is out of our control. Even from the beginning, we are created in our mother's womb (most of us, anyway), and we don't get to choose who we're born to, or where or what time period. 
It's somewhat amusing though, of how dumbfounded we get when life hits us with a curveball, because most of life is full of curveballs isn't it?