The fountain grasses outside my window bow down to the power of the ice that fell over night. “It’s not even Winter.” I grumble to Mother Nature. I wrap myself in a cardigan, slip on my fuzzy bunny slippers, and grab my camera, figuring I may as well grab some shots of the icicle. As I stoop to snag a photo, a Chickadee perches on the bird feeder nearby.
He’s not grumbling about the cold. He sings his song to the morning: Chick-a-dee-dee-dee!
I cannot help but smile.
Mother Nature has a way of reminding me what’s important. I could spend my time complaining about the cold, or I can use the same amount of time to notice the beautiful changes that are happening all around me.
It’s the same in my personal life. My husband and I still let our six year old sleep with us. She has her own bed, in her own room, but we let her sleep with us. It’s not even a question anymore, we just put her in our bed. As a matter of fact, most of the time I sleep better when she’s in our bed than when she’s in her own room. That’s not a deciding factor in the situation, but it’s true. I’m sure it would be different if she had younger siblings and could share a room with them, but she doesn’t. Her siblings are grown and have their own houses and are currently co-sleeping with their own children. When I think of her in her room alone, it makes me feel sad. Is that silly? Perhaps it is, but it’s true. I didn’t have my own room until I was a pre-teenager, so I had siblings in my room to chat with, to giggle with, and to awaken if I had a nightmare. My daughter doesn’t.
There are times when I consider the sleeping arrangements and I get frustrated and think, “Why isn’t this kid sleeping in her own bed?” I especially think this when I awaken in the middle of the night to her knees in my kidneys, or pinned against the wall with her leg draped across my stomach and her arm across my chest. Most often though, like this morning, I look at my sleeping daughter and husband and I just feel grateful for this time. Having adult sons, I know how quickly this time passes and why not hold on to the beautiful moments that are happening in our lives right now instead of thinking they should be different?
Unlike the drastic, overnight change outside my window, changes with children are subtle and easy to overlook. The days seems long sometimes and my daughter’s high energy can be exhausting so that I sometimes forget the changes that are happening beneath it all. I am thankful for the gift of having a big age gap between my children, because it gives me the perspective I need to remember to be more patient and to cherish the moments I have with my daughter, because I know that one day I’ll wake up and it’ll seem like she grew up overnight.
It’s so easy to get caught up in what we think life should be, but there are no rules, really. We can make our lives whatever we want and I think that’s the key. We make it what we want.
We build our lives with every thought. This morning, when I looked over to my husband and daughter and smiled at how cute they were all cuddled together in the cozy bed, I set a tone for the day with that content and happy feeling. I sent out a vibration to the entire world. Every single thought we have does this and I think it’s important that we try to be cognizant of our thoughts as often as possible.
As a stay-at-home mom who spends a lot of my time alone, or with my six-year old, it’s easy for my thoughts to get away from me and I tend to lean toward negative thinking when I’m not intentional. So I’ve been practicing mindfulness by checking in with myself throughout the day. What am I thinking? Is this thought true? Is this thought helpful? Is this thought raising my vibration? If I find that my thoughts are not true, helpful, or having a high vibration, then I know it’s time to adjust my situation. I might meditate for a few minutes, call a friend, take a shower, or have a fun outing with my daughter. This is my one life and I know that I have the power to make it what I want simply by being present, being grateful, and being intentional.