"You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight."
-Elizabeth Gilbert "Eat, Pray, Love"
I love this quote. Perhaps it's just the cabin fever speaking, but this one spoke to my soul. The need to find something beautiful. The idea that we deserve to find something beautiful.
I've been thinking a lot about expectations and duty and work. I've been thinking about how to find and recognize those beautiful things that are a part of my life. And I've realized something. If I don't slow down and give myself a break, I never will see the beautiful parts.
I sometimes get ridiculously ambitious. My plan for January was to declutter my entire house, finish the quilt for my bedroom, make a quiet book for Ben, take piano lessons, cook dinner each night, exercise at least 4 times a week, write in my journal daily, finish my kitchen cabinets, spend quality time playing with Ben, and make several wall hangings of quotes I love.
So far I've decluttered by putting the Christmas decorations away, thinning out my very large pile of dishcloths, and giving some books to the DI. The rest has just been clutter-rearranged. What was once taking up space on the kitchen table is now taking up space on my dresser and piano and some other flat surfaces. My cabinets are on hold pending the trim getting in at Lowe's sometime in the next month or two. The rest is just kind of there, laughing at me.
I don't know what's more crazy, the fact that I actually put all those things on my to do list, or that I actually thought I could do it and take care of my little family. Either way, the list is not going to get done and really I'm okay with that. I'm okay because in this crazy time of January/Winter survival it's more important than ever to "find something beautiful... no matter how slight."
These days are going by rather quickly. Though sometimes it doesn't feel that way, each time I look at the calendar I'm surprised at how close February is. How do I really want to spend my time? What are my priorities? And at what expense am I willing to get things done?
Sometimes I forget that I am the one that sets the deadlines here, so I am the one who can change them. Perhaps my January list should be extended a bit. Perhaps it should read January - July. Sounds more doable doesn't it? And it gives me time. The time that I need, that my soul needs to find the beauty in life.
Today it came in the form of my son. My curious and slightly mischievous son. The one who decided to tackle my head (stuffed animal style) as I lay on the floor with him showing him how to play with the cars. The one whose giggles are contagious and make me want to do anything to hear more of them. The one who is growing too fast for me. The one that I don't want to miss. That is my kind of beauty.
What's beautiful in your life today?