I was reminded today by the wonders of technology that I have published a post on this date on facebook for the past two years. Although that in itself was enough of a reason to write a post(!), one of them got me thinking as well. Last year I wrote about sleep deprivation and added my humble contribution to the discourse on solidarity in parenthood, on building each other up and supporting each other, on celebrating diversity rather than letting it divide us. But two years ago I wrote rather more of a mundane ramble about our goings on and rereading it made me feel a bit je ne sais quoi as I could have written it this year and it would pretty much all still be valid.
I wrote about Dan’s ME being bad after a period of wellness and it taking us by surprise, of having amazing home ed days and feeling like a high achiever and of having awful days where everyone is grumpy and the TV is on a lot. I also wrote about preparing for a solo trip to Brighton with the kids to visit old friends and for a very special young man’s birthday, something I’ll be doing again this weekend (hurray!) The only difference two years on are a different house and an extra child in the picture.
Life seems to continue in cycles and rhythms over time, things change but not often in huge earth shattering ways. And I guess this realisation has me wondering that if we’re experiencing the same feelings, events and occurrences season after season, what’s the point? A spiritual answer for me would be to point to Jesus. I believe he has a plan for my life and even if I can’t see how the mundane ins and outs affect the bigger picture, there is a bigger picture. One day I might see what it is, or maybe I won’t. But nonetheless, it is there and I just have to trust in Him and keep living in a way that I think would honour him.
Alongside this is a reminder that I think everyone, regardless of faith, can take on board. That the point isn’t to necessarily keep blindly striving towards some end point or goal without looking at the scenery but to enjoy life day by day as it comes. The finish line might hold some incredible reward or it might not. But the race itself should be fully embraced and entered into just for the sake of taking part. It’s easy to get bogged down into the routine that your life entails, whether that is your job, parenthood or hobbies and to start finding it all a drag. I am prone to occasionally stopping, taking stock and concluding that my life consists of nothing more but washing dishes, doing laundry, ferrying small people around and preparing food. And in those moments, I can get quite grumpy! But if I shake off the ‘woe is me’ feeling and dig a bit deeper, I can also remember a baby waking me up with a heart melting smile, a sister and brother holding hands as they walk down the road, a delicious meal, an evening spent laughing with my husband and friends, some work accomplished that I’m particularly proud of or a new weightlifting goal reached.
I know I’ve written about taking pleasure in the small things before and I really don’t want to be repetitive, boring or start to sound like a motivational speaker but I do think it is so important. If you’re feeling a bit stuck right now, why not stop what you’re doing and think of three things that happened today that made you smile. I bet you’ll feel much better for it! Mine are: Sophia and her friend putting on a ‘show’ with the help of her friends Dad, cooking a new recipe that we all liked(!) and the look of pride on Elijah’s face as he stood unaided for one of the first times. It’s the little things that make the journey worthwhile, it really is.