Two Sides

— Dana

In my meditations this week, I was reflecting on the fact that there are two sides to every coin…two sides to every situation. On one side, we can choose to only see the good things and pretend like everything is sunshine and roses. Or we can focus on the negative, depressing side of life and fill every corner with darkness and dread.

I’ve had moments when I’ve swung from one side to the other (from only negative to only positive). However, by nature, I’m a realist, so it doesn’t take much effort to see both sides of a situation. The last three months have presented a plethora of opportunities for extreme highs and lows. I thought it would be a good idea to capture them in one location.


  • Good: Aaron applied for a programming position at District 81 and was offered a job this week. We are beyond excited for what this means for our family!!!
  • Bad: Aaron has worked 11-1/2 years for his current employer (and most of that time at home in his pajamas). He will really miss is co-workers and clients that have become a part of his life the past decade. Also, Aaron will have to buy business casual, wrinkle-free clothes and leave the house everyday for work. We are going to miss him like something fierce. It will definitely be a big adjustment around here.


  • Good: I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in January. This diagnosis has changed my life (I feel better than I ever have before)!!! Now that I’m not sick all the time, I thought it would be a good time to go back to school and work towards my Masters in Accounting. I love school and learning. It’s an amazing feeling finally work on a dream that I’ve been pinning over for 9 years nows. As a bonus, I received enough scholarships and grants to go to school for free for the next 2-3 years at Spokane Community College. My family is super supportive and continues to cheer me on when I have a ton of school work to do.
  • Bad: I will be in school forever!!! For the time being, it seems as though school and homework have soaked up my spare time. I’ve had to sacrifice sleep and any sort of social schedule for school. I also have less time with my husband and daughter. I hope this changes next quarter (the summer quarter is 6 weeks long…which is half the time to finish a class compared to the other three quarters during the year).


  • Good: This girl is totally brilliant and hilarious. She is starting Pre-K in the fall and is already ahead in math. She has been asking me to teach her how to read lately and would just color, paint or watch movies all day if I let her.
  • Bad: We’ve had a lot of changes the last three months. Her ability to negotiate and throw tantrums have moved from “amateur” to “record-breaking Olympic champion”. I’ve had to bring out a wooden spoon as a tactic to remain the boss around here. We’ve also done a lot of cuddling, crying and breathing together. It’s a lot of work managing her emotions.


  • Good: Our dear 61 year old friend, Jerry, has been living with us for a year and a half now. (This is the second time he’s lived with us in the last 5 years.) He brings a whole new level of entertainment and hilarity to The Kangas Commune. Naomi thinks he’s the “bees knees”, and she is now convinced presents and candy rain down from heaven as soon as he arrived.
  • Bad: Presents and candy thwart my parenting tactics. I hate being the bad guy all the time. Also, Jerry has had lots of health issues that we’ve had to weather with him. They have all turned out okay in the end, but there’s nothing like the word cancer to ruin your week.


  • Good: After a long two and a half years, my sister called and said she was leaving her abusive boyfriend and needed a place to stay. She tried one house and quickly realized that it was not a good fit for what she needed. We decided she should live with us, and we spent a few days retrofitting a door for the toy room upstairs. Finally, my sister has a place to call “home”. It’s been nice having her around the last few weeks.
  • Bad: It’s always an adjustment when someone moves into The Kangas Commune. I’m the one to explain rules and common courtesies. I also have to be the bad guy when something is not working. Also, Naomi wants to be with my sister 24/7. Naomi has managed to break my little mommy heart more than once with her rejection the last few weeks. We’ve had to instill lots of new boundaries and rules…which has been matched with unprecedented disapproval from Naomi. It’s not my sister’s fault that she is so awesome. We’ve also realized that we have some VERY dysfunctional extended family dynamics that we need to work through. Relationships are really important to us, but sometimes they can be exhausting. It makes me realize how much grace needs to cover everything.


  • Good: I love my home. I’m amazed at how God keeps expanding our square footage so we can fit more people under one roof. I’m thankful for parents that can help us with projects around the house so we can save money. And I’m grateful that God provides for just the right amount every time…not too much or too little.
  • Bad: With four adults and one child, my house is in a constant state of disarray that makes me feel internally stressed. Our water heater exploded and made a huge mess in the basement. We also had a plague of ants, bees, spiders, flies and maggots. We bug bombed this last weekend and are still wiping down everything and sanitizing the house. And, in a moment of insanity, we decided to start three different landscaping projects at the same time. One day at a time. One step at a time.


  • Good: It seems weird to reflect on the good side of a miscarriage. However, now that I’ve had three miscarriages in two years, my OB-GYN is going to start running tests to see what’s going on. My insurance won’t see it as an “infertility” issue (because we have one child already and they said I had to have three miscarriages before they would consider it a health issue). I go in today to start some testing and to talk to the doctor about my “next steps”.
  • Bad: Yah. I could go on and on about the bad side of a miscarriage. I am sad. I am grieving. It does get easier each time. I don’t feel as hopeless or sad. I was only 6 weeks this time (and 12 weeks the other two times), so I didn’t have a lot of time to be excited about this pregnancy. I started selling all my baby items 6 months ago. I was tired of having things in my house that caused emotional waste. I can always buy more baby things if I ever get pregnant again. In the mean time, I want to live in the reality that my daughter is getting older and needs my heart to be present with her…and not pinning after something that may never happen.

3 thoughts on “Two Sides

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am glad to hear about the job for Aaron! It does seem that every change comes with good and bad. It can be a challenge to acknowledge both without focusing on just one.

  2. I had a similar two sides thought this week. There are two sides to happiness, the side that fills you with joy and the side that allows you to know and accept when something simply isn’t feasible. Children are great at using a shape sorter to teach this lesson. Ezra can frustrate himself into a screaming rage trying to get the square through the round hole. Why is he in such a rage? It’s not like the thing dispenses chocolate our plays videos of jumping kitties. It’s because he hasn’t quite learned and therefore can’t quite accept that a square won’t fit through a round hole. Adults do this with bigger and why more complicated things. I do it with my job. I will work myself into near screaming rages because I wanted my job to be something it isn’t. Eventually I learn and accept what my job actually is and I am much happier.

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