Live the dream

The past week I was in a bit of a funk. I was just spinning my wheels. I kept feeling like I need to make lists and organize my life, but doing so only made me more stressed and overwhelmed. While I felt “busy” I wan’t doing anything of much importance. After a couple days of Tom asking directly: Are you okay? And my sister bringing up that one month of stress is better than 12 months of proactive anxiety. I realized I needed to quit being so cerebral and just live the life I dream of.  I pulled everything out of our closet and started texturing it, I cut the the jagged hole in the drywall into a rectangle- preparing it to be patched. I taped and puddied the hole from the previous light fixture, I scrapped and painted the door to the balcony, I painted the sunroom floor, I made four pillows for the basement. All the while I was a happier Mom. I pulled out the playdough for Scotland while I made dinner, I set him up to color next to me at my desk while I responded to work e-mails. We’ve read more, sang more, played more. 
Thinking about the quick change, I realized that before I was focused on doing while now I’m focusing on being. Just being happy. Too often I think, focusing on being happy is selfish, when in reality when I focus on being happy I’m more likely to help my neighbor, visit the elderly, rock Scotland to sleep, and have real conversation with Tom. 
I started reading “Heaven is Here” by Stephanie Nielson. I’ve only read the first few chapters but I’ve found myself awed by the beautiful simplicity of her life, and how genuinely happy she seems in her domestic roles. Her open declaration that marriage and motherhood was all she wanted after high school impressed me. It showed a respect and honor towards motherhood that I still feel I am lacking. You get the sense that Stephanie sees in motherhood it’s eternal significance. It isn’t a duty, it isn’t a tradition, it is a blessing and a honor that she was striving for. I find myself often seeking for ways to contribute outside of motherhood. I often feel guilty because I’m not serving enough in my community, church or family. I feel discouraged because I’m not taking steps towards greater intellectual attainment.  With Stephanie you get the sense that she just doesn’t worry about stuff. Her goal is to have a loving marriage and a happy family and that’s it. (Again this is only my impression from reading a few chapters, I really know nothing of this gal!) Before having a child I would have thought Stephanie lacked ambition, I would have disapproved her desire to forgo college. I would have thought her hope to quickly marry and have children, immature. My views have changed. What the world really really needs right now is a whole host of women who will dedicate their intelligence, their ambition, their love to creating stable loving homes where marriage thrives and children grow up confident and charitable. For families are the building blocks of society, when they crumble so does everything else. 
The fact is, there is a part of me that believes that just focusing on creating a happy family life is selfish even shallow- but it simply doesn’t work that way. The last few days when I have been focusing on just being happy- I’ve visited my neighbor, called an adopted grandma, chatted with a stranger on the sidewalk, (eaten alot of chocolate cake), called a friend who’s expecting any day, and had so much more quality time with Scotland. More than ever, my thoughts have been turned to others- why? because I’m happy! 
I’ve mentioned this several times on my blog, but I’ll never forget a time when an old man got up in church and said “I’m living the fairy tale.” His life wasn’t a grand one, it was simple, but it was just what he wanted. When I think about what I really want, its long lasting love and friendship in my marriage and a happy family. That’s really the bulk of it. Today, I lived the fairy tale! 

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One response to “Live the dream”

  1. Hey! I was thinking of your today and wondering how you were doing. 🙂 I hope things are going well and it looks like it from your fun outings. Thanks for the sweet message about motherhood and always being so willing to share your testimony and good spirit. You are awesome! 🙂

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