What does being really thankful mean anyways? Sometimes, it is so incredibly easy to forget about what I have and to focus on that “one thing” I don’t have rather than being thankful. Other times, it’s easy to forget about where I am and focus on that “one goal” for professional or personal “arrival.” It is so darn easy to be bombarded with notions of taking and taking, and needing and needing that it becomes such a second nature to disregard the best that we have, and to give up our “riches” to grasp for rags.
Sometimes I find myself fully unable to be present. In a moment that should be my life’s glory, such as eating breakfast in the quiet of my safe home with two out of the three of my favorite people (and most of the time, the sun is even shining!!), I find myself thinking, “If he can juuuust eat a little faster, I could get to those emails,” or “I hope she’s done nursing soon, so I can get up and finish those edits.” It seems so absurd, but I know you know, it’s just. so. easy. to do.
Now, for some, perhaps eating a little quicker so you can get to those emails IS truly the most important focus for you, because maybe your career is “your baby” (or maybe it’s your “favorite baby,” who knows!). But for most moms, I would feel safe suggesting that more of us than not would claim that our families are the most important to us, as well as the most important part OF us–that’s an important distinction I think. There are a lot of things that are important “to” me, but the things and people and traits I claim as being “part” of me suddenly obtain a much greater priority and place in my existence and purpose. That doesn’t mean I have to succumb to..what is it? Being barefoot and preggo in the kitchen? OBVIOUSLY. But what it does mean is this: while I may take copious amounts of pride in my lovely and imperfect business, my little family is always more important, because when the crazy days ask me to choose one over the other, I NEED to remember to choose my family. It seems so simple. But it’s not. And we often make the wrong choice. On a perfect day, perhaps the choosing is fewer, and we can be super mamas who get everything done and still have enough time to own Pinterest AND read. But on those days, where “something’s gotta give,” it shan’t be our kids, folks…unless of course you would admit that they’re not the most important.
So, as deceiving as the title to this blog is, I admit that I do not, in fact, have the “secret” to being thankful always. However, I do have a little trick that works most days. When I feel myself itching for the “next moment” or to check off that oooone item on my to-do list, I have to stop. (insert internal dialogue). And ask myself to remind me what my purpose is here. If my purpose is to raise loving, down-to-earth, intelligent, and hard-working children, then my “legacy box” needs to be filled with moments that work towards this goal (for inspiration on calling, click here). It isn’t heroic to hustle so quickly that you leave the most important in the dust. It’s not impressive to be overworked and busy all the time. It’s not. impressive. No one is impressed. It is wise to be productive; it is foolish to be weary.
Oh, but how much easier this is all to say and write than it is to do and to actually be truly thankful always, can I get a bellowing “AMEN!”?!
But on this Thanksgiving and always, let’s build one another up for crying out loud. Let’s put aside our ubiquitous coveting and comparing, let’s say “no” to rushing, and yes to two hour breakfast segments because chewing granola, chatting, and reading really take that long, and let’s be truly, truly thankful and present. If what you’re doing is filling up your “legacy box” with more of what you want to leave behind, then keep doing it, dang-it!
And the other parts of who you are will fall into place.