Savoring Summer (Because Yes, The Years Are Short)
I know, I know. You probably don't want to hear that the years are short - because honestly, with young kids (or uniquely-wired ones... or both!) the days feel oh, so long.
But here is what I know:
The years are short.
I know this because three summers ago the years seemed infinitely long; and exhausted by life, I was praying for a cease-fire. A pause. Or maybe a fast-forward. I can say in all seriousness, the moments and days and weeks and months and years "seemed" like a never-ending tunnel leading to nowhere. I felt trapped. And I wasn't sure how to express the frustration I felt. The challenges of being a special needs parent with a chronic disease blinded me to the future... A future that just might have been filled with opportunity and infinite possibility and (wait for it) beauty.
Dear Mama, I am in that future now.
Of course it's all laced with madness at times , too. Let's be honest. (You can read last month's post for more on that!)
Three years ago, nothing "seemed" to be happening to move us forward though. I couldn't see the opportunities that would arise. The possibility of what-might-be. Or the beauty. That last one makes me especially sad. And it was excruciatingly painful. There was no end in sight. Consumed by what I could see - I was losing it.
Okay, I lost it. I wasn't just beginning to lose it. I was there.
Today, I can look back at what happened without shame and know that had I just slowed down - taken my foot off the throttle (former claim-all-the-things girl right here!) - I might have enjoyed that summer. I mean, at least a little bit more than I did. I'm not sure that you can have a wonderful summer with a child that knocks down doors in the midst of her own inner turmoil. But who knows? Maybe I wouldn't have closed the door to hide from it all... and instead laid on the floor, where she could have eventually come beside me. (I digress. And also, this is my response now, today.)
The years are short. And sitting here writing to you right now, I can feel it. The hugs that are shorter because my Wild one wants to play with her friends. The bowls littered around my house, proving my kids can feed themselves. The conversations around hard days - my kids can communicate what's wrong!
So, what can I say to you while you're still in the trenches?
The same thing that I would have said to me.
If I were to sit across from claim-all-the-things me, I would ask "What can you savor today?" And possibly, "What goodness could there be here if you just slow down, Mama?"
Claim-all-the-things me wouldn't have slowed down for this conversation - of course.
But post-cancer me would have, and does. Daily.
So I'll ask you here - in the midst of your personal beautiful, precious, fantabulous mess - what can you savor today? And what goodness could be here if you just slow down, Mama? You are worthy of living your best possible life. No hustle required. Just a little bit of vision beyond what-is today.