Daylight savings time. I used to go with the rhetoric of how awful it had to be, because everyone else complained; and truthfully, when we pressured ourselves with early time commitments, I’m sure it did have its challenges.
Back then, I was very much still discovering who I was and what I believed as parent. I caught myself parroting what I heard others say. That was the normal. I wanted to fit in. Not only in my words, but my actions. I did many things differently, but I also conformed in ways that were hard for me. Get up early, rush to a million activities. Go go go.
Not now though. Now my kids can sleep and wake as they need. We adjust each day and go with the flow, sometimes earlier, sometimes later. Hailey did wake up earlier than usual today, not because the clock was changed, but because of an excited little brother who made a bit too much noise. That’s okay. We can figure out what we need as the day goes on. Our morning was free to take it as slow as we needed it to be.
We ate breakfast, the kids watched a bit of a movie, checked on their birds nests they made for the back yard, and found ladybugs on the porch as I sipped my coffee. Winter demands I take pictures of anything he deems interesting.
I am thankful that this day won’t throw us off the week and that we have no strict schedule to adhere to. I know that can’t be everyone’s reality. My husband will still have to sleep at his normal time, even if the kids are still up. I could look at that as putting more “work” on me. I don’t look at it that way anymore. I love this life.
I have been thinking often about cultivating joy in our lives. What a difference it makes for me when I am actively trying to find reasons to be joyful, even if those reasons originate from the small, or seemingly insignificant moments. Then I came across this post and it put into words what I only had in my head.
It is so easy to feel overwhelmed in life; so many responsibilities, the stressors of adult life, many people vying for your attention. When discussing life goals, I have heard “think about the big picture… long term goals” so many times. I am not saying that it is not important to do that; However, oftentimes, I find myself stuck in those long term thoughts. It then becomes all to easy say that I do not have time to stop and focus on this little moment of time. I have too much to do to get to my goal. It is much more difficult to stop and really give myself permission to be mindful of the present moment.
But when I do, sometimes amazing things can happen. Amazingly simple, little things, that bring joy to my heart. I notice the smile on my child’s face as they play. I see that light-bulb moment go off in their head as something truly clicks. I really stop and taste the coffee in my cup instead of quickly guzzling it for the much needed boost in energy it provides.
A few weeks ago I took my kids to the library. My kids love going, but it is difficult to go as much as they’d like due to the toddler knocking books off shelves, and the constant worry that their voices may be too loud. After a few minutes of general exploring and random book grabbing, my 3-year-old settled in at a table to build Legos. The baby was wanting to nurse, so I sat down in the rocking chair to nurse him (note to self: I would really like a rocking chair at home), and my 5-year-old pulled up a chair next to me and began looking at pop-up books. As I nursed the baby, I looked at my other kids and they were both so immersed in their actives. They looked so grown in that moment. I looked at my tiny infant and just appreciated his smallness that I know will be gone ever so quickly. I rocked him, and I just soaked up that moment. Nothing extraordinary was happening, but I felt so connected to my kids, so much love in my heart. Even a few weeks later, every time I think about those few minutes it invokes a smile. Such a small moment has impacted my mood in a positive, lasting way.
This is a life lesson that I seem to need to learn and relearn again many times. So go ahead and stop. Give yourself permission to enjoy those moments. Draw on the good feelings when you are feeling down. The big picture is important, but for me, I am constantly being reminded that it is really the everyday stuff that matters the most.