My mom sent me this picture that showed up in her Facebook feed this week. Pictures like this, coming in at a random time, have a way of stopping you right in your tracks. It’s like hearing an old song that takes you back to an exact moment in time. Your brain can’t help but take you back. For a moment, I’d forgotten that these little babies were obsessed with boats. They would clearly float them anywhere and everywhere they could.
With this one image, all the memories came flooding back.
Boats for Christmas, boats for birthdays, boat races in the neighborhood pool, boats in the bathtub, and books about boats every night before bed. Life was so simple then, right? Well maybe, but probably not. If I step back for a moment, I also remember the complete chaos of two boys in diapers and cribs, one gigantic baby boy on each hip and 6 straight months of uncontrollable crying. All I wanted was for them to be potty trained, eat grown up food and please, stop digging up every worm in the backyard and leaving it on the kitchen table.
Life was hard then too.
It’s amazing how our brains can so easily filter out the difficult times of the past from our memory. Everything is rose-colored in old pictures, because we were capturing the good times. Yet when the current moment sometimes feels so difficult to bear, all we want to think about is getting through this particular season. We want what’s next. We want that shiny happy field that is just up ahead, around the bend.
But it turns out that when we look back we’ll realize, we had some things that are really good today.
Hard, yes. Absolutely. But also really good. The secret is in finding a way to live with contentment, right in the middle of the hard stuff, today. With all the busy and the chaos in my own life lately, I’ve been trying really hard to focus on being content. I’ve been keeping a journal of gratitude on my computer and trying to remember to pop in there every time I something I’m thankful for comes to mind. It really helps!
“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” ~ Dale Carnegie
It’s no coincidence that as I’ve been looking forward to piling into the car with a group of girlfriends to head out to the Moxie Matters tour to meet up with Jen Hatmaker and Nichole Nordeman tonight, I saw Nichole’s Slow Down video again. If this isn’t a reminder to pay attention to the moments, I can’t imagine what is.
Life is moving fast and it isn’t going to stop.
The boys are all potty trained, they’re eating grown up food and there’s not a worm in sight. I’m working on being grateful for sweaty socks in every nook and cranny. Scooters dinging up all the walls. A new interest in girls
And all the laughter that erupts with every crack of a potty humor joke.
Don’t lose the joy of today looking for the happiness of tomorrow. Stop looking for the easier, slower, better life that is just around the bend. This is your life, right here, today.
Let the speed with which the days are passing be a reminder to be grateful for exactly what you have.
Pay attention. Notice what’s good. Think on that. Treasure it.
Find a way to treasure today.
to more love,
P.S. This is attitude toward gratitude is the very reason for the theme of our Thoughtful Gatherings Girls Night Out next week. If you’d like to shift your focus a little more toward intentional time together this holiday season, this is the GNO for you. Join us.