Brad crawled into bed last night and said "do you ever forget how to breathe?" I thought he was being quite deep. In an instant, I was thinking about all of the things that should be so natural and nurturing that we simply just "forget" to do. I tend to get so caught up in my own stress/ regret / confusion / desire/ excitement that I no longer know how to slow down and take things in. To just breathe. To truly see the opportunities to make incredible choices. Thank you, Brad, for the insightful deep thought....oh wait...you weren't being deep?? He actually literally meant "do you ever forget how to breathe?" You know when you're trying to relax and it feels like you're forcing the inhale and exhale and you can't seem to get on a rhythm? That's what he meant. Ah...so much for depth from my dearly beloved. However fear not...I can still take this and make it a deep thought about not having deep thoughts!
At the risk of getting all Erma Bombeck on you, I do believe we will all look back on our lives and realize that the very clean house, the hand washing, the empty laundry baskets and perfectly tidy kids were not what it was all about. The moments that will stand out are the laughter in the blanket forts, picnicking on the living room floor, and rolling down the grassy hills without a care about green stains on our knees. The "perfection" in our lives will mean nothing ultimately.
This being said, for me this whole mindset of remembering how to breathe and stopping to smell the roses (and everything else written in the small coffee table "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" type books) needs a balance. Sometimes I also need to give myself permission to walk over the roses and get anxious about the laundry pile-up. Sometimes my kids need to play by themselves or get plopped in front of the TV so that I can catch up on dishes. And sometimes we need to order take-out and stand while we shovel food into our mouths. Every experience doesn't need to be an learning moment. I will continue to agonize over not spending enough time rolling on the floor with my kids, and the missed opportunities to walk through the woods and talk about lichen, and the all-organic meals eaten off bamboo dishes. And in that I think we learn a good life lesson. Minutiae is a big part of it and if there's an ounce of grace in balancing the rush to work/ laundry pile-up/ dirty dishes/ healthy eating with the piggy-back rides/ long dog walks/ rock-collecting/ date nights, we're doing a darn good job. Maybe Brad was onto something deep. Maybe it's not so much about stopping to breathe and to smell the roses. Maybe it's just remembering that the roses are there and working our way over to them when we can.