Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Grocery Cart Moon

Although I was tempted to relax at home this evening, knowing we were out of milk and that the children had few options for breakfast on what would be their first day of school, I went grocery shopping. I zipped through the aisles pretty quickly and it was a little before 8:00pm when I made it to the check out line. With my groceries paid for, I headed out to the parking lot. The skies were darkening as I got back out to my car but the moon was so beautiful. I packed the trunk of my car but I took my time. I felt the air of the summer evening, listened to the sounds of my surroundings, and stared up at that glowing moon.

I love it when our minds halt moments in life so unexpectedly. Taking a deep breath, I smiled to myself. Being outside at night is one of my favorite ways to hit the pause button. It doesn’t matter what the weather, what the season. When I’m under the dark skies of evening, I stop and take everything in. The world and all its craziness will keep spinning but I have power too. One look at the moon tonight and I was living in the moment.

Knowing I’ll see my kids off and then head into school myself in the morning after what has been an incredibly full but happy summer, I am thinking about how many times I have felt overwhelmed, struggling to balance tomorrow with yesterday. Many times I have caught myself saying, “I just need to get through this week” or “Things will be better when …” but the truth is, my life will always be busy, rich, and full, and time will never slow down unless I make a choice to change my focus in a particular moment. My family is active with various hobbies, commitments, and friends and family time woven together.  Our schedules are jam packed. But music, theater, dance, soccer, volleyball, teaching, writing, directing, singing, cooking...these are all part of what makes my family happy. Giving up those activities might make life slow down a bit but in all honesty, I believe in letting my children dictate the pace of their lives. Like her older sister Sydney, Emma knows she could curtail her academics or her hobbies, but she feels fulfilled as things stand now. The girls enjoy being busy, they've each told me so. Paul has told me he’s probably not going to play a winter season sport but how he is looking forward to soccer in the fall and lacrosse in the spring. He’s making decisions on his schedule now that he’s in Middle School. Eric will continue to direct and although I will miss him during the work of the productions, I’ll be busy with classroom research, planning, and writing. I’ll balance school with my love of keeping house--cooking, decorating, preparing for holidays, playing with my young dog, and checking in with family and friends.

Yes, we are busy. But we are a grounded family. We take on what we know we can handle and we scale back when we know we're doing too much. We’ll continue to pitch in on weeknights to keep our home orderly and to eat healthy. We’ll take time to talk, to laugh, and to share our days. We’ll cuddle up with one another when we need a hug or just want to snuggle. And when one of us looks up in the sky and sees the moon lighting up the night, or a falling snowflake that trickles down to the ground, we’ll be quick to stop and to take it all in. These are the moments where we remember that we can push the pause button anytime we need to.

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