Friday, October 28, 2011

Embracing the "all good"

Lately I've been doing a little self reflection of my life. Thinking about the day to day, my progress on goals, my marriage, my kids. I had a startling realization. Everything is great. Really. Everything is going wonderfully right now.


I can easily tell you the hardest parts of my life. 13 was a bad year for me. 7th grade. I really don't even want to talk about it. I was just not prepared to deal with any of it. Age 21 for exactly 3 months I was a train wreck. Age 28, for the year after Lydia was born, I never sleep more than 3 hours at a time and never went a day without crying. In fact, the only reason I started this blog was because I was trying to pull myself out of the misery and depression of having a baby who never slept and never stopped crying. If you read my first post, it wasn't exactly chipper. 


I think we can all look back on our lives and think of the really hard times. We allow for that. But sometimes I wonder if we allow ourselves to see the moments of goodness as they are happening. The times when everything is right. As I write this my house is really messy and I have no idea what to make for dinner because I'm sick to death of cooking. Lydia is dealing with some teenage angst that is driving me a little bit crazy. Things aren't perfect. But things are really, really good.


My vacation did exactly what I hoped. I feel refreshed and able to look at things with a clearer head. I'm married to an amazing man who I'm crazy about. My kids are darling, smart and healthy. My home is comfortable and my new friends are sweet. Boise is a great place to raise a family.


Right now my life is wonderful. There is always a chance that in tomorrow lies our greatest trial. You never know when sickness or unemployment will hit. I might have another sleepless year. But right now, today, all is good. I need to embrace it for the small moment that it exists.


My goal for the year has been to "Develop a passionate joy in the present". This goal has been life changing for me. I had the above pendant made so I could be reminded daily of my mantra. I've hung it next to my bathroom sink so as I start my day, I am reminded how precious those fleeting hours are. 


A couple months ago, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a leader in the Mormon church gave a powerful talk I recommend to all women of any faith. One thing he said coincided perfectly with my goal this year:

Forget not to be happy now. Recalling the children's story “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” President Uchtdorf said people were looking for a golden ticket in a candy bar. Unfortunately, the candy bar itself became an utter disappointment if it did not contain a gold ticket, he explained.
"So many people today are waiting for their own golden ticket — the ticket that they believe holds the key to the happiness they have always dreamed about. For some, the golden ticket may be a perfect marriage; for others, a magazine-cover home; or perhaps, freedom from stress and worry. There is nothing wrong with righteous yearnings."
The problem, he added, comes when a person puts their happiness on hold as they wait for some future event — or gold ticket — to appear.
"The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in the pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments."

Focusing on the joys of the everyday and my other goal to "find poetry in the prosaic" has made me a better wife, mother and happier person. Even with 8 loads of laundry to do, dishes piled up and constant noise. I'm just happy I have my little family in my home who wear those clothes, eat my cooking (sometimes), and fill my life with laughter. 

Today I close my eyes to enjoy the crisp air of fall, the smell of leaves and the crunch of them below my child's feet. Today will be a fleeting memory soon enough, but if I hold it close, embrace it and let it be part of me, I will have it always. Today, all is well.

8 comments:

Caroline said...

Natalie,

I have no idea what led me to your blog, but I've been reading it (when life permits) for 3 years, starting a few months after my wedding. In that time, SO many things have changed for me--started a new job, moved back home to Austin from NJ, lost my mother-in-law to cancer, and welcomed my first 3 nephews/niece into the world. Also in that time, you have somehow had an uncanny ability to write exactly the post I've needed to read at the moment (today's post included!).

Just wanted to let you know that I LOVE your insights, honesty, and voice, and I hope you never have a "focused" blog. Here's to random people having an unexpected influence on your life!

- Caroline

Natalie Jane said...

What a wonderful comment. Thank you very much. You made my week :)

Lucas*Jennifer*Noah said...

Thanks for sharing, Natalie. I really needed to hear this today! : )

Lisa B. said...

BEAUTIFUL post Natalie. I REALLY needed to hear this today as well!!

Push Pop Mama said...

Lovely.

Amy F. said...

I loved that talk as well. When he said, "The Golden Ticket", mine popped right into my head. I'm going to try to enjoy the "chocolate bars" of life more. Embracing the all good was the petal that resonated with me as well. I tend to get a little depressed now and then, but really, we are so blessed.

Jessica said...

I have to agree with Caroline-I just "happened upon" your blog while I was on maternity leave (unfortunately still waiting for babygirl to be born!)and have continued to read it and catch up with it when I have time, and it is unbelievable how in sync your posts and messages are with what I truly need to hear. This one in particular...but I truly enjoy all of your posts, and feel as though you put into words much of the things I am thinking...or lead me to more positive ways of processing or thinking about things. Please know that even on what you feel is one of your worst days, you are making a positive difference in mine. Thank you so much for that.

Jessica said...

I have to agree with Caroline-I just "happened upon" your blog while I was on maternity leave (unfortunately still waiting for babygirl to be born!)and have continued to read it and catch up with it when I have time, and it is unbelievable how in sync your posts and messages are with what I truly need to hear. This one in particular...but I truly enjoy all of your posts, and feel as though you put into words much of the things I am thinking...or lead me to more positive ways of processing or thinking about things. Please know that even on what you feel is one of your worst days, you are making a positive difference in mine. Thank you so much for that.

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