Sacrifice is a difficult subject to discuss because it is such a difficult thing to do. However, this is the season of sacrifice. There are many religions that focus on the idea of fasting and sacrifice as we move through winter and into the spring season. Christianity has Lent which leads, of course, to Easter (or Ostara), Muslims have Eid-Al-Adha, even Ancient Rome explained the cycle of the seasons using a mother's sacrifice of her daughter and the daughter's return at the beginning of Spring.
The idea of sacrifice, purposeful sacrifice, is something we all dislike. We give up so much in the day to day struggle of life, why should we be forced to give up more? We give up time with our family, comfort, and sleep for work. We give up money, time, and happiness for our family. But the idea of sacrifice is supposed to remind us of the good things we have, the happiness we find in our lives.
We do sacrifice on a daily basis, and we do it to have some of the good things that we enjoy. I have sacrificed a certain amount of financial freedom to be home during the day with Little Guy. If I worked during the normal office hours, we might have more money, but I believe that Little Guy would suffer for it. By that measure, Little Guy himself requires many sacrifices. We stopped being nearly as independent once we had a child and our free time is now spent with our little monkey. Again, we judged the sacrifices we make as parents to be worth it.
It's difficult, sometimes, to look at the sacrifices we make and find something worthwhile in them. I struggle with that too. I look at the difficulties we have and the struggles we endure and sometimes I have to fight off the negativity by reminding myself of the good things we have. I also make it a point to remember the fact that we are better off than many others. Big Guy and I have jobs; Little Guy is happy, healthy, and amazingly smart; we have a roof over our heads and a car that runs; and, even more importantly, we have each other and appreciate that fact.
It's important to examine the sacrifices you make and the good that comes from them. Remember that our sacrifices give us one thing even more important than anything else. Our sacrifices give us hope. It gives us hope for a better life, a more comfortable home, a happier family, and a better attitude. It is the spring to the wintry darkness in the rest of our lives.