Friday, October 10, 2014

On creating moments, finding moments, and choosing joy

I love to create moments. I light candles, I play music, I cook a good dinner, I try to intentionally be someone my family wants to be around (not saying I always succeed at that though!) I love planning date nights, going new places, trying new things, a good conversation topic, going deep and really understanding and knowing the people I love. I love to laugh, and I love planning parties. Those are all ways I try to create an atmosphere that is set up for quality time, peace and relaxation, and wonderful memories down the road.

Then there are times when moments just happen, all by themselves. There is nothing really that you did, it just happened spontaneously. These are actually my favorite. They require no planning, they just ask you to show up. All they need ask for is a little extra sensitivity to notice them when they're unfolding. My favorite recent moment like this that stands out in my mind was from about a week or two ago. The movie Secretariat was on (it's my boys favorite right now, so it's on all the time, and that's nothing new...) But it was after dinner, and we were all down in our family room together, and when this one song (you should totally turn it on and listen to it!!) came on in the movie we all ended up getting up and having a little family dance party together... Even Jaden was in our arms and we were spinning and dipping and "shaking our butts" as Isaiah says... him and Drew both have got some moves, I tell you! I don't know where they get that from... ha! But oh my goodness, what a fun, spontaneous moment laughing and playing with our kids... the five of us and our goofy dance moves, singing and bumping into each other while watching a movie we've watched at least 20 times before.

And sometimes, despite our best efforts to create moments, they don't go as planned. The night before Drew's first day of school I had lit candles, made this wonderful dinner, set the table, and thought we would have a nice dinner together and then give the boys baths, lay out their clothes and get ready for the next morning. Well.... let's just say it went nothing like I planned. Right as we sat down together Drew told me he didn't feel well. About two seconds later he threw up on the floor. Less than one minute after that Jaden exploded his diaper in the high chair next to me. And about 30 seconds after that Shaun ran upstairs sick. So Shaun was upstairs, Drew was in the downstairs bathroom throwing up, I was upstairs stripping Jaden down and trying to get him cleaned up, and Isaiah was feasting on a chicken, potatoes, carrots and fresh baked bread dinner, basking in the glow of candle light all by himself. By the time I got to eat my food was cold, and I only took a few bites before transferring all the uneaten dinner off of the pretty platters and into tupperware containers to put in the fridge. All I could do was laugh at the drastic difference between what I thought our night would look like and how it actually looked. (That's where finding humor in the moment is my saving grace!) But choosing joy despite our circumstances and whether or not moments play out the way we think they will is essential between creating a life we look back and smile on or a life we look back and wish we would have lived differently.

[This post is part of a 31 day series on being present in the moment]

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