Friday, May 29, 2015

DAY 20: Glimpsing Happiness

The power of an ice cream sandwich
I was listening to the radio in the car yesterday and the hosts were talking about the passing of U2’s tour manager. It was part of the Entertainment Update segment but quickly transitioned into something more. One of the DJs (do we still say disk jockeys? I feel 100 years old saying that, but what else do you call them?) became very serious, talking about how we must cherish the little moments in life.

It stuck with me all day. And the more I thought about it, the more I focused on how I sweat the small stuff. Not even just the small stuff, I sweat all of the stuff, all the time. Then I started to question whether or not I could even recognize the good stuff, these mysterious moments I am supposed to hold on to.

It was a little terrifying, honestly…

Then my 2 year old and I ate some ice cream sandwiches. I watched as he grew an ice cream beard. He laughed at the simple deliciousness that only two chocolate cookies and vanilla goodness can bring. It was quiet, there was no TV, no distractions, it was just the two of us, grinning at each other. And I thought oh wait, this is it, isn’t it? This is the small stuff, a sweet moment I am supposed to be savoring.

And what did I do? I tried to hit pause, I tried to burn this into my memory, but by then he was looking for a napkin and ready to run away to play with toys. And I was left sitting with sticky wrappers, dripping with melancholy. It was right there in front of me and I didn’t grab it, I didn’t “get” it until it was too late.

But maybe that’s just it. Maybe breathing in the moment, recognizing it’s importance and letting it drift slowly away is part of the experience.

I can be hard on myself, we all can be hard on ourselves. We strive to make every day magical for our kids (and ourselves) in big, loud, Pinterest-soaked ways while the little happiness-es are floating by unnoticed and unappreciated. And you know what? I don’t want that. It's about time I got out of my own way.

It's time to open my eyes, open my heart and open myself up to the incredible possibilities, and joy, that surround me. It’s not going to be easy, I am pretty set in my hard-edged, anxiety-thriving ways, but I am going to try because not-trying to see the joy is not an option. Not any more.

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