Growing up, beginning as a young toddler, transforming in that "rotten teenager" and eventually blossoming into a mature state of mind set is the ultimate challenge of life. Getting through it and actually surviving is not an easy job, yet its rewards come in the most unexpected and fulfilling ways.
After one of those really bad days, weeks, months of even year, as the "Friends" theme song tells us, God proves His saving grace. Not only in the duration of tested eras, but in and out of every situation, joy is in sight by simplistic pleasures.
I realize this truth each time I find myself soaking in Alaskan sunrays in our bay window or catching up with an old friend with whom I had forgotten I had so much in common. Spur of the moment delight or a sweet throw of the loop carries bliss in and of itself. Those eye-opening epiphanies and once-in-a-lifetime episodes also bring on the tickled pink exhilaration. The unplanned, unusual surprise can come just at the right time. Sometimes it arrives as friendly affection just to make you smile or the humorous recollections of embarrassing moments.
The flip side of this off-guard pleasure in life is the unprepared, occasional moments that simply warm you heart, as opposed to an annual tradition. Not that anything or anyone could take away from those cherished epochs, but each of us carries our own story of special remembrances and experiences.
Some adults recall their last home game, senior prom or senior skip. Almost
all adults value a treasured, simplistic pleasure that brought the most significance.
Birthdays, holidays and celebrations are unforgettable. Families gather and ceremonies take place. These good times are irreplaceable and this year is filled with masses of them. But looking back, I relish more from inside jokes and personal accounts with close friends.
Perhaps the greatest reason for these exemplifying feelings is the way we go about living -- the key word being, living. I think living is intended to accomplish a higher level of appreciation, effort and trust.
Only a portion of living includes going through the motions. Making the most of a regular day, sharing it with someone in need or stopping to smell the roses all reveal life's simple pleasures. Becoming a life-learner, seeking out new relationships, yet valuing those who are placed in your life for a short while or long length is part of the plan.
My advice is up to your own personal interpretation, and I by no means have all the answers. But if anything were gained by reading into my world, leave here with a thought to ponder, a curious heart or satisfied gladness.
Shamra Bauder is a senior at Kenai Central High School who has worked as an intern at the Peninsula Clarion.
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