It’s 5:30 in the evening. Chris is in the kitchen, chopping peppers. McCoy and I are in the living room, dancing to Christmas music. I dip him backward and he laughs. I wonder if he will grow to be a daredevil someday. I’m teaching him to Waltz. Or are we Foxtrotting? I remember almost nothing from sixth grade cotillion, so it’s probably just an overstated way to say we are spinning in circles with our hands clasped together.
We spin. He smiles. We dip back. He laughs. Chris throws butter in the hot pan and the smells permeates the house. It hits me, then, that these are the moments my younger self dreamed of: to be in our first home, making dinner and playing with our baby before bedtime.
I’ve been working, lately, on noticing these moments more. They’re little and, if we don’t pay attention, quickly dissipate. They’re easily overcome by scrolling through Instagram or cleaning out my inbox. They fade quickly when juxtaposed with my to do list. They go unnoticed when I let myself be overcome with anxiety or want.
But lately, I’ve been trying to notice them more - Mac’s sweet eyelashes, opening and closing slowly as he eats before bed. The way he smiles at the Christmas lights in the early morning hours, mesmerized by their twinkling. The way Chris pours me a cup of coffee in the morning before going to the gym. A quick pause to notice my needs.
These little things can be quickly lost in the shuffle of the day, the grind of reality.
But why let them be?
I’m not saying our lives are perfect, by any means. I’m ashamed to admit that my natural inclination is not to look around with gratitude, but instead longing. My heart often yearns for more, asking what next? the minute one dream is achieved.
But I’ve learned this a thousand times in life, and I’ll probably learn it a thousand more:
My input directly affects my output.
Meaning, if I take in more thoughts of gratitude and joy, I put out more gratitude and joy. If I slow down and notice the little, beautiful things throughout the day, I’m able to live that same posture more easily. When I stop to recognize the good in the small, beautiful moments, I’m overcome by how much good there is all around me.
A while ago, I read this quote from Girl, Wash Your Face that I’ll leave you with. It is the perfect reminder for a Monday:
“It might also be helpful to remember that someone else is praying to have the kind of chaos you’re currently crying about. What I mean is, the things you think are difficult could be someone else’s dream come true. I don’t say that to make you feel badly or negate your experience, but perspective may help you see that your chaos is just a gigantic blessing. Adjusting your view can work wonders.”