This 30 Things series is turning out to be more difficult than I thought it would be! Each time I come to do a new post for it I end up leaving it for a few days because it takes time for me to contemplate how best to answer. With this question I found myself torn between writing about the big things; family, friends, health, etc. and the everyday things; a quiet cup of coffee in the morning, watching the hummingbirds, a glass of wine in the evening on our deck. Since the intended audience for this series is my kids, I wanted to somehow convey that both the big and little things are important and that we shouldn’t dismiss either of them nor should we sacrifice one for the other. So, I finally decided to focus on the little things that make the big things special.
1. Texts From My Husband
R is not really a technologically savvy guy. Earlier this week I had a hilarious conversation with him via text where I was explaining different emoticons to him. He had no idea, in 2013, about happy faces, winks and hearts. He had an old phone without a keyboard for a long time and never texted. But earlier this year he upgraded to a smart phone. Almost immediately I started getting texts from him on a daily basis. When he’s bored, remembers something he needed to ask me, or just has a free moment I’ll get a text from him. And like a teenager with a crush I always get a little stomach flip and smile to myself. I get a daily text from him just so he can say, “Love you, sweetie.” Every single day. I think the reason I love it so much is that it is completely sincere. He didn’t read somewhere that this is how you keep the romance alive. He’s not trying to soften me up for anything or make up for something. He just genuinely wants to let me know that when we’re not together he’s thinking of me. Being loved like that is simply amazing.
2. Reading With My Son
J is 14. He’s been reading on his own since he was 5. He likes to read lots of things on his own (mostly online but also on his Kindle app). But we still read together nearly everyday. We’re nearing the end of the Harry Potter series and I love that we’ve shared this experience. He could read it on his own and I could have finished long ago if I was reading on my own. But by reading together we’ve shared something really special. We’ve laughed, cried and been shocked together. We’ve analyzed the differences between the books and the movies. We’ve loved and hated the same characters. When I am old and grey and they are doing Potter reboots I will still think of J in every reference because the stories are inextricably linked to our time together. How cool is that?
3. Driving With My Daughter
K is a social butterfly. She’s always wanted to be on the go; when she was about 4 or 5 she started asking each morning, “Where are we going today?” When I work she often spends the time with friends, she goes shopping with me when she feels like she’s been home for too long, we have several shared activities with our homeschool group. We spend a lot of time in the car. And it’s fantastic. It’s often just the two of us and since nothing is close to our house we have half hour stretches of uninterrupted time together several times per week. We talk about things going on in her life, in the world, our favorite shows, silly things we’ve seen on the internet. We turn the radio up to sing fun songs together at the top of our lungs. We play slug bug. She tells me elaborate stories about the families that live in the houses we pass regularly based on the things she sees from the outside. (Oh, they got rid of their small car and got a mini-van, they must have had kids.) She is clever, funny, kind, inquisitive and confident. And I see all of those qualities shine through in those little chunks of time in the car. And then when it’s quiet and we don’t have much to say she’ll reach over and hold my hand. Priceless.
4.My Circle of Friends
Oh, how I cherish my friends. I have found this amazing group of women who have helped me finally learn to love myself. They share their stories and listen to mine. Being heard and accepted, even when people don’t agree or even fully understand does remarkable things for the human spirit. We are a community of individuals; with space for shared interests as well as diversity. We celebrate each other’s accomplishments and try to lift each other in moments of struggle. Sometimes we fall short but we also forgive each other for our humanity. I am a better version of my self because of my friends.
5. Balance and Flow
I feel like I have a pretty good handle on life right now. I have plenty of time to accomplish things for myself, my work and my family. I don’t have so much downtime that I’m bored but I have enough that I’m not overwhelmed. There is a rhythm to my days, a flow that I’ve only recently found, and at the end of most days I sit back and feel good about it. I feel like right now, at this moment in time, there is enough of me for everyone in my life. Including myself. This moment of balance didn’t happen by accident; it’s hard won through years of trial and error. I don’t take that for granted.