You know it’s been a long week when, two seconds after sending myself an email, my computer beeps and I think “oooh! Email! I wonder from whom!” And then I realize it’s from me. And I sent it a whole two seconds ago. Who am I kidding? That actually happens all the time. I have to email messages to myself because if not written down, or emailed to myself, things don’t exist in my mind. They float away never to be thought of again.
This week has been enormously challenging. I work for an organization that deals with disasters. The flooding in Northeastern MN and Northwestern WI has meant long hours of working fast and furious with very serious repercussions if my team can’t get our work done. I’m drained. I’m stressed. And thankfully I’ve passed crabby and am heading on towards loopy. Which should serve me well as I’m looking at a full weekend of work to keep up the momentum of my team.
This morning, I decided to come in a little later knowing I’d be in for another very long day, so instead of leaving at 6am I was able to lounge with the little girls until 7am. Our schedule this week, due to travel plans of the other parents and Father’s Day, was a little screwy. I feel like I haven’t seen my little girls in ages. This morning as I quickly got ready for work, I called out to them to wake up, and soon enough they were slowly and sleepily joining me in the bathroom. Every once and awhile they will ignore the toys/games/t.v. shows that usually keep them busy in the mornings and they simply hang out with me while I get ready. This was one of those mornings. They usually ask questions like “does that hurt?” when I’m curling my lashes, or “does that feel weird?” when I’m putting on my 78th coat of mascara. Then they typically move-on to say things like “you’re pretty” or “you’re the prettiest mom ever” or “I love my mommy.” All such lovely things to hear any day, but particularly sweet to hear after a long and grueling work week.
After I dropped them at daycare, which today was hard for me…I really wanted to keep them home with me all day and do fun girly stuff, I thought about all of the lives that have been at best disrupted…at worst nearly ruined…by the once-in-a-century flooding. So many families without power. So many families whose belongings are floating in their homes. So many families unable to leave their neighborhoods due to dangerous road conditions (i.e. roads no longer existing due to buckling and/or sink holes). So many families experiencing despair.
It’s always easy to feel grateful and lucky when you know others are suffering so. When you know that disaster could happen to any of us. So today I’m going to go ahead and revel in the things I’ve been so lucky to experience this week…even the seemingly insignificant things…here it goes…
- My little girls are truly enjoying the summer. This morning as we got in the car to leave, my oldest little girl said with a big sigh “I LOVE summer.” “Why’s that?” I asked. “Because we get to do more things. Whenever we want.” Agreed.
- A sparkly and shiny opportunity has come into our lives. I’m not sure what will come of it but simply thinking and talking about it has been an adventure that we’ve so enjoyed.
- Through honest and frank and realistic conversations that had been on the back-burner, my husband and I have reminded ourselves why we like each other so much, and why we’re lucky to be paired-up with each other. Grateful that he’s mine.
- We’ve also been reminded recently how incredibly lucky we are to be the children of our parents. Holy cow. We have remarkable parents who, without them, our lives would be very very different. So thankful for them.
- In a week that has been this busy, I’ve been unable to connect with my girlfriends as much as I normally do, and this my friends has been a rude awakening to the fact that a) I am so very lucky to have such amazing girlfriends, and b) my sanity depends upon being able to connect with them regularly. Grateful for the reminder. Wine. Night. And. Lunch. Dates. Needed.
- There is a small weed that looks like a miniature tree growing from a seam in the county road I take as part of my commute each morning. I pass it each day and think it’s so pretty. A beautiful little tree amongst concrete and speeding cars. I think about stopping to take a picture every single time I pass it…and I’ve yet to do so. But I’m glad for it every time I see it.
- Okay…this…this may be a stretch but still something good. When my husband and I got married we were older. We both had lovely sets of dishes, quality silverware and stemware, and many of the kitchen utensils one household would need. As I’ve recently admitted, my idea of dinner prior to meeting him was yogurt and Diet Coke. We used our wedding as a great opportunity to register for high quality pots and pans. Many of which have sat gathering dust until I started using them daily about a week ago. Boy am I grateful for them now. SO grateful.
- And finally, I have had the opportunity to see human goodness first-hand this week. When people struggle, undoubtedly, people step-up and give. They give their time, talent, resources, and money. Sometimes it’s easy to feel like we are surrounded by a-sholes. The minute a community is hit with significant challenges, however, it’s amazing how many angels we find walking among us. I’m lucky and humbled to be able to witness it.
While none of this may be profound I hope it will help you to remember lovely little things you’ve seen and/or experienced this week. It’s always so good for me to take a step back from the madness, take a deep breath, and really enjoy the life I get to live. I hope you get to do the same at some point this weekend!
TODAY: What if I take the time to be GRATEFUL amidst the chaos even when it’s for the very little things?