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.