Monday, April 26, 2010

Life is Beautiful

Life is beautiful. I don't mean the big moments, the sunsets and the milestones, although those are wonderful too, but in this case I mean the everyday: the simple things that we mostly fail to notice and enjoy. Life moves so quickly. We plan our days, stuff them full of activities and people, and then fall into bed at the end of each day, exhausted and trying to summon up the energy for what is coming tomorrow.

Yesterday I made a conscious decision to slow down, to still my racing heart and mind, and to look around. The result was surprising to me. I saw my husband and realized that he is still my best friend, even after living in the same house for almost twelve years. I counted the number of times we laughed together in the course of the day, and the number got to double digits by lunch time. I noticed that our conversations come easily and we haven't run out of things to say to each other. There is very little tension between us on a daily basis, and that is a gift worth its weight in gold.

I enjoyed my kids as well. I heard the sound of their laughter, their young voices chattering away, even the sound of them fighting over toys or books. They are learning how to relate to each other, how to compromise, to try to get what they want while attempting to get along with another person. I looked at my kids as people in their own right, and I was impressed by what I saw.

We went to church, which was good as always except that I was teaching William's preschool class and had to miss the teaching time, and then in the afternoon we went to a birthday party hosted by friends for their sweet 2 year old son. I paid attention to how relaxed I felt when socializing with friends. Nothing was hard or forced; conversation flowed easily and kids ran around enjoying each other's company. It is beautiful to be with people who are kindred spirits and easy to be around. Genuine friendship is a gift in this world and must never be taken for granted.

We spent the evening relaxing at home. I got things accomplished on my to-do list, but I felt different as I was being productive. There was no stress. The day had an easy, flowy pace, and I think I created it simply by turning up my awareness of what I was doing. Being intentional in our days gives us a greater sense of control over ourselves and our emotions. Choosing to be grateful instead of irritated made a big difference for me yesterday. It's something to work on as I move forward into today and tomorrow. Life is beautiful. We have today to embrace that beauty and cultivate it within our own souls.

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