Can we take a break from all the cooking and creating and talk about life for a minute or two? Why is it so easy for the crappy parts of life to cloud our happiness or completely take over? Why do we often focus so much energy on the negative when there is still so much to be grateful for? I really need to refocus my thoughts on what matters most and renew my resolution to embrace life and find joy in the journey! Are you feeling the same? Let’s chat!
Learning to Embrace Life
I want you to think about the one thing that is most important in your life right now.
— Is it your husband? Your best friend? Your kids? Your home? Your job?
Now think about all the time you spend on that one thing each day.
— Is it getting enough attention? Is it getting enough positive attention?
For me, it’s my family.
My greatest blessing in life is the opportunity to parent and raise my 5 kids alongside my very best friend. I love being a wife and a mom and I wouldn’t trade this job of mine for anything in the world. But I often get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and find myself just going through the motions. My days are filled with check-lists, so to speak, and it is rare for me to slow down and enjoy those precious little details of my day.
In Regards to Marriage…
Over the last few years, I’ve seen several marriages of people who are very close to me fail. These are marriages that appeared to be solid but for one reason or another they ended so sadly.
One of the marriages I watched crumble recently was that of my own parents. 34 years of marriage, done. It is sad and disappointing and heartbreaking, but it is also confusing to me. I obviously don’t understand all the details that went into the decision for my parents to separate, nor was I privy to information discussed between the two of them that lead to their separation. But how did this happen? And how do I ensure it doesn’t happen to me and my husband?
Am I spending enough time each and every day cultivating my relationship with my husband?
Is the attention I am giving him positive?
How can I do better?
How can I be certain he knows that I love and appreciate him?
In Regards to Parenting…
Kids grow up way too fast, and I want to embrace every single second of this time that I have with them.
I don’t want to look back and wish I had taken the time to play longer, to laugh harder, to teach better, and to hug tighter.
I don’t want their childhoods to slip through my fingertips.
I want to hold them tightly and tickle them with kisses ‘til their sweet belly-laughs fill my ears and are impossible to forget.
I want to find joy in the little things.
I want to be the kind of mom who can put down whatever she is doing to play Candy Land or Hide ‘n Seek.
I want to take pictures- lots and lots of pictures- of the types of things you don’t set up a backdrop for; the everyday moments that make you both happy, and frustrated. The details you never want to forget- the smiles, the scowls, the messy faces and dirty feet.
I want to be the kind of mom that lets the phone go unanswered and who turns off the TV and computer because her child is yelling, “Mom, watch this” from the backyard.
I want to embrace motherhood in its entirety- to appreciate the fun parts, and learn to laugh at the hard parts.
Food for thought:
“The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days waiting for better ones ahead.”
-Marjory Pay Hinckley
In an effort to focus my thoughts on the things that matter most, and to embrace life and whatever may come my way, I framed the following printable and set it next to my bed. It is the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning and it is a daily reminder of my most important job of the day – loving and caring for my family.
Whatever your most important blessings are, I challenge you to find or create a daily reminder, something you can look at often. (If you’d like to use this printable, the link to download it is just below.)
Let’s all try a little harder to be better and have fun while improving!
No go out there and make today great!
. . . . .
(This post originally published in 2012 but was updated in 2016.)