After the Valley

They ask how things change after you stare death down. I say it’s the things you choose. Before, I rarely noticed a sunset. Now, every sunny sunset I am an observer – front and center. Before, I tried to be everything to everybody. Now, I choose thoughtfully where I spend my time & energy. I make time for deep conversations and friendships. Before, I’d say “let’s get together.” Now, each year I visit a bestie and vacation with the family. Before, I dreamed dreams. Now, I pursue them – writing songs & books- no longer afraid of rejection. Before, I hurried. Now I always literally smell & photograph the roses. I now pass on the name brand clothing to spend good money on good music & coffee. I went sand sliding in New Mexico with the kids, danced on the hotel bar in Vegas and rode the bull on Music Row. I rekindled & forgave, and let God restore my soul. I have finally learned how to suck out the marrow of life & not worry about the Joneses. Life, you see, after the Valley, is oh, so very sweet! Not because we are different, but because of what we choose. -A. Estes

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