There are two ways for me to look at my life right now.
Here's how I look at it most of the day:
- I am exhausted.
- I am fat but I really want to eat this chocolate cake and I'm too tired to exercise.
- My kids are driving me crazy, why can't they just stop whining, eat their dinner, take a nap, listen to me?
- My husband is being snippy with me.
- I should be doing more.
- This is too hard.
- I have too much to do so I'm just going to shut down and not do any of it.
- This task is not enjoyable, so I'm going to put it off.
- I have to do these three things but I am grumpy and resentful while doing them.
- I miss all my friends, why don't they call/email/visit/text/read my mind?
- I dread unpacking and setting up a new household, the amount of work ahead of me is overwhelming and paralyzing.
- I don't know anybody where I am moving, and I have to find a new ... (Fill in the blank with doctor, grocery store, pre-school, nail salon, hairdresser, dry cleaner, drugstore, driver license agency, etc.)
- I don't have all my stuff, and it's disruptive and difficult to carry on my life out of suitcases for nearly a month.
- I have thousands of decisions to make and I am afraid I'm doing it wrong.
- I am not patient enough with my family and not doing enough to make this transition smooth for them.
- I am not getting enough appreciation from my family for all I am doing.
- I never get a day off.
- I have no privacy.
- I am stressed about not having enough money to pay for all the expenses that are piling up.
- I am angry that we never seem to have enough money.
- I am impatient to just get on with my life already and to stop being in limbo and transition.
- I don't have the energy to put on a good face and go out and meet new people.
- I am pregnant and terrified that I am going to lose another baby.
- I feel very very very sorry for myself.
Here's how I wish I were looking at the truth and beauty of my day:
- I am surrounded by family that loves me and takes care of me.
- I am beautiful just as I am, especially as I carry and create a new human life.
- My husband loves me and needs my support and love as much as I need his.
- I am working hard and accomplishing a tremendous amount every week toward setting up my new life, all while currently caring for my kids on a daily basis.
- I am doing just fine.
- I have met all my deadlines so far, and most deadlines aren't really that immutable anyway.
- I have plenty of energy and take care of myself when I need to.
- My children have had a huge transition and are handling it really well, and I have been able to be consistent about being with them through it.
- I begin my new life in my new town in my new house in just a few days.
- I am so very lucky to have had a warm loving place to stay during this transition.
- My mother is a loving, generous, helpful, wise person who has done nothing but see to my needs these last few weeks.
- My friendships are life-long and true, and distance will not affect that truth.
- I have ample time to eat and sleep and read and watch tv and be with my children.
- I am going to be given the chance to meet new people and experience new things and open up my world.
- I am facing an adventure full of newness and opportunity, full of growth and learning.
- I am likable enough just as I am, and I make friends easily.
- We will be making a generous living and will stay in our budget, and compared to the situation many people face these days, are inordinately lucky.
- I have seen a doctor and am indeed carrying a healthy 7 week old baby.
Why do I spend so much time bemoaning all that I am not, all that I don't have, nursing my perceived injustices and tallying up my entitlements? Why do I persist in ignoring the enormous blessings that every day holds for me? Why can I not stay focused on how easy it is and how supported I am through it all? In the moment, I am so poor at keeping my perspective. With just a breath and a chance to pull back and look at the big picture, I recognize how very fortunate I am and how much I have to be thankful for.
My life is pregnant with possibility in every way, literally and metaphorically, both in experiences and human life. It's brimming with opportunity. It's full of moments like watching my two girls splashing happily in the backyard kiddie pool, pouring water on each other, while my Mom and I chat easily nearby. It's delicious home-cooked meals every night that I didn't have to prepare. It's a beautiful new home that workers are toiling on diligently to get ready for us. It's trips to the zoo and lunches with family and babysitting when we need it and naps and being together. I should only be deliriously happy, because I am truly blessed. I am healthy, my family is healthy, we are together, we are starting a life adventure together. My life is beautiful.
Is it hard for you to see the beauty and truth of your day sometimes? What do you do to help remind yourself? Help me to do better in the moment, and remember the beauty. Tell me your secret.