Living Now

I was reading from an anthology called The Quotable Lewis this afternoon and stumbled upon a line from the man’s letters that captures what I hang onto every day. “Life has to be taken day by day and hour by hour.” Thirty minutes earlier I’d been standing in the kitchen enjoying feeling my husband’s arms around me, a moment of stillness in the craziness of life. Jacob was “mopping” the floor and Meredith was sitting quietly and we’d just finished a hurried Sunday lunch and Mike was en route to put Jacob down for a nap and go take one himself.

It’s easy to miss those little moments busying myself thinking about the ones to come, even if it’s in an attempt to make those future moments good. I feel a lot of stress, daily, juggling two babies and Mike’s grad schoolish tendencies to be just as busy evenings and weekends as during the typical work week. Nothing–NOTHING–can dissipate that stress better than pushing the proverbial pause button, like I’m stepping out of my life and playing the part of onlooker: “I am here. It is now. Husband’s arms. Health and peace and bills paid and clothes that fit better than usual. For now.” It’s good to step back and see the beauty and pronounce it good. The worry and stress that life will be worrisome and stressful is self-fulfilling and the only solution is to stop and choose a different perspective. The hurrying, fretting moments are no fun to remember, no matter what you were actually DOING during them.

Jacob’s presence reminded me of the importance of perspective this week. We sat for 5 minutes in traffic on a city street while a large construction vehicle maneuvered itself in front of us. Massive frustration? Yes, in the world of grown-ups. To my sweet Jacob it was 5 minutes for wonder and delight as he watched all the “diggers” digging. Instead of watching the clock I stepped out of the worry and delighted in Jacob’s perspective, and it was a good moment, a moment that made life good. And we were sitting in traffic. This is the only way I’ll arrive at the end of life 50 years from now and look back with satisfaction. The beautiful thing is, it’s a choice. It’s that simple.

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