Thursday, September 3, 2009

Don't Forget The Now

Today I received a reminder... and I was actually the one to remind myself!

A friend of mine is taking some classes. She is also the mom of a "tween" and a toddler too. Oh, and she works outside the home three days a week. She was telling me how intense the classes are and how she doesn't know if she really has time for the stress involved.

I listened to her carefully, then I said something like this:

"My only advice would be to make sure that you're not so involved with all things stressful that you cause yourself to forget about all that is good. It's easy to get yourself into a pattern in life where you're fighting life. You are so wrapped up in everything about life that you DIS-like that you actually forget about everything that you DO like. Then, years down the road... you can't remember many good things about that period in your history."

Sounds like I'm speaking from experience, doesn't it? I went on to share with this friend that there were a couple of years after Caleb was born when I was stressed TO. MY. MAX. I was completely overwhelmed with a very clingy baby, a new house, a toddler and a pre-schooler. I was so entangled in the day to day "yuck" that looking back now, I cry because I don't remember too many happy times.

Don't get me wrong... I know there were happy times. I have photo albums that prove it. I have happy children that are evidence of it. BUT... my memory doesn't serve me right in this area... and that hurts. I was trying too hard to prove myself a good mom, a good wife and a good person. I didn't allow myself the freedom of just having a house that looked like a tornado went through it. I didn't (except on RARE occasion) serve chicken nuggets or mac-n-cheese for dinner instead of meals made from all of the food groups. I took on ALL the stresses as what life was meant to be as a young mom and I just "lived".

After I said these things to my friend, I continued thinking about them as I traveled to Target. I thought about the fact that in some ways, we are continuing this pattern in our living. We are always talking about the "somedays" instead of just living in the now. There's a fine line there. It's perfectly normal to talk about the future, I know. It's when you start planning EVERYTHING around 6-12 years from now that you should start to worry.

It's when you hit the snooze button every morning and recite how many days left 'til retirement.

It's when you start to have crazy conversations about quitting your job so that you can open a business offering custom designed scooters, donuts and coffee, babysitting and shoveling snow (yes... that's just ONE business offering ALL these things, and it's what my crew came up with at the dinner table the other night).

That's a little worrisome, don't you think?

The economy stinks! Every week my hubby comes home with some new "brilliant" idea that the county has come up with to save themselves a buck. He's not alone either. There are so many out there being hit with the same depressing story. Do I want to feel depressed though? Do I WANT to miss out on this part of our lives because of selfish, ridiculous choices that OTHER people have made FOR us?

My answer is NO!

Living this out isn't easy, I know. It has to be an everyday decision to get up and be joyful over the GOOD things we are so blessed by. Shoving the negatives to the side and choosing not to dwell on them, but rather live for today... is something that requires effort. However, because I have experienced a time in my life when I DIDN'T live this way, I am choosing to give it my best.

I have a second chance at this, and I'm going to make it right this time! Years from now I don't want to have crocodile tears pouring down my cheeks....

I want to have smiles, chuckles and stories... many stories.

God put this on my heart today. I know He put it there to share with my friend, but He also put it there as a reminder to me.

Oh, and for the record... if any of you feel as passionate about this as I do, I wouldn't necessarily recommend telling your husband that you want to donate all your personal belongings and become hippies. It didn't work for me... probably wouldn't work for you either. :0)

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