real life

Yesterday was the first day back at school after our South American summer break. I was ready, and though they complained, so were the kids. They woke up in the morning ready to go, and arrived home happy and full of stories to tell.

We had a lovely summer, full of camping and swimming and friends, but by the last week, some of us were out of patience, and all of us were weary of togetherness. Time for a routine. Time for each to have a bit of life to ourselves.

So here I am with a minute to myself, perusing my own blog. I don’t seem to find the time and the creative energy to truly write very often any more, and my blog has become a place to share pictures of trips, and holidays, and birthdays. My kids love reading back and remembering those fun times. But I worry that it isn’t a reflection of what matters most.

It’s easy for us to become focused (even addicted?) to the exciting things in life. Pick your poison — for some it’s redecorating the house again and again, others can afford to travel constantly or spend all of their time planning birthday parties and holiday celebrations. And none of those things are wrong, if we show some moderation and restraint. Of course we enjoy having something to look forward to, and everyone is entitled to some fun and a hobby.

But I know without a doubt that it’s the regular days that make a life.

And sometimes it’s a struggle. I am a person who has lots of energy for a challenge. (Intercontinental travel with a bunch of small kids? Sign me up!) And I am incredibly calm in a crisis. (At least so far — God, please don’t send me a big one to test my theory.) But I sometimes struggle to find the strength to make dinner every night. Ok, I always struggle to make dinner every night. (But my kids appreciate my cooking so much more when it’s a change from toast and cereal!)

The day to day can be mundane. It can be a grind. I often lose my way in it.

I love the concept of the magazine Seeing the Everyday. It is all about finding beauty and meaning in ordinary life. I just found this on their website, “Cloaked in their very ordinariness, the prosaic events that truly shape our lives—that truly are our lives—escape our notice.” (Gary Morson) Doesn’t that express it perfectly?

So I’m going to try a little more consciously to be focused on today, especially the regular, sweet moments with my kids. And if I can find the time (I know they were at school for 7 hours yesterday, but it seemed so short!) I’ll try to share more on the blog about these everyday moments, because this, sadly, is my only journal, and I want to remember what life really is.

P.S. As much as I don’t care what you had for breakfast (sorry) I really like Instagram for this reason. So quick to share a moment. I just caught on (always a late adopter) and Anne taught me that the key is not to follow too many people — whose sweet, everyday moments do you really, truly care to see? Because after all, if we spend too much time looking at everyone else’s everyday, there’s less time left to make our own.

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One thought on “real life

  1. andrewalma

    I like what you’ve expressed here. I am pretty good at being “fun dad” and I strive to make memories with my children with cool experiences (travel, activities, etc.) I’m not so good at getting on the floor and playing with trains with James, having a meaningful, non-structured conversation with Brianna, helping Lily with her homework or being interested in Parely’s video games. I need to do better at being engaged and present in regular life. I want to improve at enjoying and cherishing everyday moments.

    Reply

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