Saturday, August 15, 2015

Thoughts on the Present

My word of the year is "Present".

Initially I had in mind what that meant.  To be present was to be here.  To enjoy the good things around me, the growing up, the changing and learning.   I was to live intentionally in the present of what was happening around me.  My life.  My family.  It was to be enjoyed.

I still believe that, but with more depth.  That depth coming in the form of the not so good times.  The times when you wish you could skip ahead, or bury your head in the sand (or back in the covers) and wait out the storm of learning and growing and changing because it is just so dang hard.  The times when things aren't so good and you're not so sure you want to do this, whatever this is, anymore.

In general I try to be a positive person.  It used to come naturally to me.  The older I have gotten and the more I have learned it has become increasingly easy to be cynical.  To dive deep into the social media fodder of the wronged and think we're all going to "hell in a hand basket".  To dive deep into my own parenting and think "my kids are going to hell in a hand basket and it's all my fault!"  To forget that I have knowledge and experience and a close up look at my world and what it entails and own it.

I am the one standing in my own shoes.  No one else.

I am the one that chooses to be happy or sad.  To tackle things head on.  To send others to the side lines.  I am the one that decides what is important in my life, what my priorities are, and what will help me feel satisfied with my life at the end of the day. No one else regardless of family, friend, or other connection can do that for me.  They can help me make my decisions, but I have the last say.

Life is hard. And that's okay.  It's how it's supposed to be.  It's how we learn, and grow, and change.  But that doesn't mean we have to be miserable through it.  And it doesn't mean that everything is awful.  Because it's not.

I was listening to the radio this morning and there was commentary about a report that concluded that having children is the worst thing that could happen to a person and their happiness level.  I wondered how that could be? Was the test group really that cynical?  Where were they in their lives?  How could those results be valid?  That certainly wasn't true for me.  Children made me so very happy... and then.

And then the sleepless night caught up with me.  I was quickly overwhelmed by everything that needed to be done and I wanted to run from my house screaming at the top of my lungs.  I wondered where that put-together, capable, positive can-do-anything person went.  That person that used to be nicknamed "Smiley" because I always had a smile on my face.  Hard to imagine now, I know.

A lot of life is hard.  Day to day chores drive me insane sometimes.  My children give me grey hairs and bring out my inner swear-word-user like never before.  Only rivaled by a brief rebellious period in high school when I was trying to be cool.  Except then I was in control, now it comes with deep feelings of anger and frustration and for the love of all things will you please just go to sleep!!  Swearing, even under my breath at 2am helps me vent some frustration without taking it out on my kid.  Never mind that there's a higher way.... still learning people!

Anyway, back to the report on the radio.  I couldn't help but wonder where these people were in their lives.  And are happiness and honest to goodness satisfaction the same thing?  Which one would I rather have?  Are these people just starting out with their families, right in the middle, or looking back on an empty house?  Because let's be honest, a lot of the day to day with children in the house is not "happy".  It's getting things done.  It's figuring out how to get your children to want to be good, responsible, respectful people.  It's hard, and grueling, and taking all of your energy sometimes.  And you wonder how you are going to manage, and what kind of things your kid will need therapy for in a few years. Or what you'll regret when you get a moment to look back.

The "happy" of these years comes in spurts.  It's the smile of the little one after that d@mn 2 am feeding that keeps you going and softens your heart.  It's when your older child wants nothing more than to give little brother a big squeeze and a kiss and then tells you that he loves you too.  The giggles, the smiles, the energy and life.  They are brief but much more poignant.  They hold you over through the rest.

My oldest is 3 1/2 years old and my trials have just begun. I have school, and tears, and teenage years to look forward to.  Times when we won't like each other at all.  And times when we'll be so glad to be this little family.

I want to be present through it all.  The good and the bad.  The good for obvious reasons, the bad so that I can fully appreciate all that is good.  Because at the end of the day, there is good.  Even if it's simply acknowledging that you are a day closer to the end of your trial.  A day wiser.  A day that is done.


  1. I wish I could make it all a little easier!

  2. as always hitting the nail on the head and voicing a lot of my own thoughts! You are an awesome mama and doing a wonderful job! Love ya! :D