Sometimes I’m so tired of finding the joy all the time.
I’m tired of the schemes and gimmicks and posts and rah rah rah moments that are supposed to be the joy inducing things in life but then morning comes and the alarm goes off and the kids cry mom and the last thing in that moment that I feel is joy.
I feel tired.
Wait. I probably feel the weight of the to-do list and the realization that there is no milk left in the fridge and the kids asking for stuff and me knowing that I should have woken up ten minutes earlier and now that shower that I wanted to take before hitting the school line might not happen. Again.
But they wake up different.
They wake up excited for the day – looking at all the possibilities and the crazy moments of life. They love the fact that the sun streams in and they can see the dust stuff flittering in the sun stream. They think it’s magical. I see the work. I see that I didn’t dust.
But most times, most times I’m living on such auto-pilot that I probably don’t even hear them excited about resting in the sun and the rainbows on the wall and all of that.
When did the weight of the responsibilities squish the what if excitements of life? When did I want to pull the covers back over my head and hide versus having the moment to simply savor five more minutes of sleep? When did the cry of mom signal work and not that I’m simply needed? When did waking up lose the magic of a new day and simply become another day of swinging legs over the edge and getting kids dressed and turning the dial on the washer and answering emails and trying to figure out dinner before 5pm?
Sometimes this finding joy thing involves so much work. And because there’s already an excess of work squashing the to-do list the last thing that I feel I want to do in that moment is one more thing.
So I shove myself out of bed and acknowledge the kids and push brew on the Keurig (hoping to remember to put the cup underneath) and then having that big pressing weight of work start rolling through my mind.
They just don’t.
They see so much joy in the moments. Oh yeah, I know they’re fighting about Minecraft and they don’t like how their brother looked at them, but underneath it all the world is this giant place filled with amazing possibilities. Yes, amazing. But listen, listen, listen – their amazing is totally not what I have grown to think amazing must be.
Amazing to them is like those dust particles dancing in the light.
Amazing to them is a doughnut with sprinkles.
Amazing to them is getting the cereal that they love and that there’s enough for an extra bowl.
Amazing to them is the hummingbird out the back window that flitters between the flowers.
Amazing to them is their favorite book found.
Amazing to them is a text from their best friend and simply knowing that they have friends.
What if life could be like that again?
When did we get so busy mothering that we created this suffocating world that snuffs out the amazing moments that we’re blessed to experience in the everyday? Because you know, they are totally there. They are there, sweet mom. They are there. I think maybe if I repeat over and over to you that maybe I too will start to believe it again. To remember.
I know you know it too. I know you want to remember just like me about all the amazing at 6:04 am versus the to-do list. I know you know the wonder of watching your kids see the double rainbow the first time. I know that you know that when they learn to write their name it’s the coolest and most amazing moment ever. I know that friends at school who take time for them or that awesome grade are awesome and wonderful things. Holding your hand is amazing too.
How do we wake like we did when we were little simply excited about the sun rising and the joys that we can do? How do we have that moment of freedom where the day rolls out before us and we are actually excited to live and do life?
You just carry on.
I know. Carry on. What a silly and ridiculous thing. But it’s so beautiful, in a way. It’s about knowing that in the carrying on that we will find this simple joy in all that we do. Maybe it’s all the weight that we throw on ourselves and maybe it’s a whole bunch of reality that is really really hard. Because life is hard, friends. Life is hard.
In the past weeks I’ve watched a friend deal with the death of a teenage daughter. I’ve watched friends struggle with marriages. I’ve read about another friend diagnosed with cancer. I’ve seen my children cry about hard stuff in life. I’ve had moments of my own wondering about life and expectations and that feeling of not doing enough.
I just want the weight to lift just for a bit.
But somehow, somehow in that quest for joy and the happiness in life again there has to be a moment where we decide to carry on without letting the weight of the world rob us from the moment. Yes, that. Can you imagine if we all woke up with the same zest and zeal for life that our kids do?
Can you really imagine?
Can you imagine the freedom that you would feel if every day you thought today will be a good day?
Maybe we need to redefine amazing. Yes, yes, that. Maybe amazing doesn’t look like all the Hallmark ideals and expectations that we thought it needed to be. Maybe amazing doesn’t look like perfect marriages and trips to Disneyland and birthday parties where everyone is happy.
Maybe amazing looks like a mom sitting next to the hospital bed praying for her daughter. Maybe amazing looks like you playing with bubbles in the sink while your three year old laughs next to you. Maybe amazing is you tying shoes again for your kindergartener before they walk through the door. Maybe amazing is when you wave goodbye to that college freshman and wipe away the tears and tell them you’ll do amazing things. Maybe amazing is just a bit of that amazing that our kids seem to remember and find in the simple things.
You’re doing amazing things.
Finding joy might just happen when we allow ourselves to realize the amazing in the every day life that we are blessed to live. When life ends I’ve never heard anyone talk about the crazy big grandiose things that the people that we love did in their lives. I hear them talk about the most simple things – the endearing things – the quirks, the laughs, the way they gave and the way they loved moments of life.
That’s what matters.
So sweet mom who just wants to wake up finding joy just like me let’s make a pact. Let’s make a pact that tomorrow and the next day we’re not going to try so ridiculously hard to find this nebulous idea joy. We’re just going to carry on and live. We’re going to live grateful that we are given the opportunity to live life right now. We’re going to find the joy in our life that we are blessed to live.
Not perfect. Not unbelievable. Not stuff for Hallmark.
But rather an amazing mom life filled with extraordinary ordinary joy filled moments.