Wednesday, July 8, 2015

living deliberately

We are a society of quick, convenient and one in every color please. And even though the world is built around the theory of more convenient, we are still always in a hurry. You would think that all of that convenience would have freed up a bunch of extra time.

I'm beginning to think the key to living a rich and fulfilling life is actually a little bit of inconvenience. At least inconvenient by our standards.

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I love this quote. It is one of my favorites because it reminds me of what is so important to me-recognizing the many gifts laid out before me and living simply in the moment. But it also scares me, because that thing that I crave- the thing I deteriorate without- is also the very thing that I often forget to do. Sometimes days and weeks in a row. I am scared that when I die I will regret all of those accumulated moments that I had not lived. But then it will be too late.

I crave a slower life, full of meaning. And I'm realizing it isn't the hustle of life that is stopping me from doing and having that. It is me.

I mean it couldn't have been easy for Thoreau to just drop everything and live in the woods. In fact, if you ask me that sounds pretty damn INCONVENIENT. But it's when we are forced to slow down and live more aware that we really start to experience the beauty and goodness in life. It's when things are terribly inconvenient and we overcome that we realize how little we need to be happy in the first place. I think of my greatest memories in life. The moments that stand out. They weren't convenient at all. They were often unexpected, hot, anxiety-producing and a million other inconvenient things. 

This morning Parker really really wanted bubbles. But I needed wanted to vacuum before the boys' behavior therapists arrived (seriously, hard wood floors and two dogs and two boys leave a daily toll). I took the bubble machine away from Parker and as he started to cry I walked towards the closet that holds our vacuum. The strangest thought flashed through my mind- On your obituary do you want it to say your floors were always clean, or that you knew how to have fun?

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Fun for the win

Mahhhhh. Pewllllll, Greyson says to me hopefully. If he says it again I HAVE to get in the pool, I think. But I am so comfortable. I just laid down! The beating sun is bringing feeling back into my air conditioned chilled fingers. My eyes are closed and all I can see is yellow and gold. I have a book laid across my chest, begging to be read. Actually getting IN the pool was the last thing I was expecting to do while out at the pool.

But he changed the game when he said it again. Mahhhh. Pewl. His eyes turn up to me expectantly. And so many of the answers today were- Not now. Later. Put that back. We can't do that. When I'm finished. Not for breakfast. Maybe tomorrow. I'm in the middle of something now. It's too early/late/long/short- NO. Just no.

Sometimes living deliberately means saying yes.

I sigh, get up and tuck my book safely under a dry towel. I slowly step into the chilling water. AHHHHH!!!! I yell, slowly inching in further step by step. AUGHHHH!!!!! I hate cold water! Why am I doing this?! I WANT TO LAY DOWN AND READ.

Greyson's face explodes into a smile so big it turns into laughter. He starts to squeal and pull me towards him in the water. He is covered in goose bumps but not a bit cold- he simply feels alive. He is so so happy, simply by my presence in the pool. That thought gives me comfort and reminds me of the power the momma- the power that I sometimes abuse because it simply isn't convenient. After a few more seconds of inch by inch cold torture, I finally duck completely under. The echoing silence of sound under the water stops the constant movement of my mind. I hear the faint imprint of the outside world. I hear each swish and bubble vibrate to the top and I feel deliberate. That familiar hunger from life is, at least for this moment, satiated.

Sometimes the bounty gathered from our entire day is based simply on the things we pay attention to. I will try my best to add just a few deliberate moments to every single day.

We had a fun-filled July fourth holiday.

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Friday night we went to a small fair at a local high school. As soon as we got there Greyson remembered being there last year.

He was remembering the fireworks that hissed and sparked and boomed so loud he could feel it in his chest. It was traumatic. His whole body shook as he sobbed and begged to go home. We were parked too far to instantly get up and leave so we sat it through. It was awful.

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"We will just go on rides and walk around. No loud this year. We will ride rides and go home." He understood.

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Parker was down for a few swirls of a sparkler.

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Once the loud fireworks started Parker was over it, so my two boys and I went inside our friend's house and watched The Disney Channel. We are starting new traditions of our own.

It's the first year that I didn't push either boy to participate in any fire works. It's the first year I just didn't care that they hate them. It's funny how hard we hold onto traditions and expectations. I mourned their loss for a year or two, and now I am at peace with it. Truly at peace. You can't fake or fast forward the stuff that hurts. You just gotta go right through the middle of it.

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I'm lucky I have a six and four year old to teach me the greatest lessons in life.


  1. Hi Chrissy! My name is Deanna and I'm a homeschooling mom of 3 boys. I don't even know how I found your blog but I am so glad that I did. I have been reading for a long time now and always look forward to your posts about your perfect little guys. I just wanted you to know that even if I don't write a comment, I am here reading. :) Thank you for sharing.

  2. I've been reading your blog for awhile now, stumbling upon it a few months back after a diagnosis of our own. And I just have to say you are a breath of fresh air! I love when I open up your page and see a new post! I read on and it never fails that by the end I feel totally renewed! You inspire me! :-) Thank you so much for your vulnerable and humbling words!

  3. The greatest lessons in life indeed! I am glad you found a new tradition!


  4. Yep! Once again, what you said, friend! About now o'clock Mon-Fri I start reminding myself to make my son a priority when I get home. It is sooo easy to have dinner, watch the news, and get eaten alive by my overstuffed chair that I refuse to put up a fight. So, when he asks to go out on the trampa (his cool slang for the trampoline) my first response is - not tonight. And then I get sad. I have started reminding myself well in advance that there has to be some of my day that is solely his. I'm no Thoreau, so that is as close as I get to intentional living :)
    I'm glad you found a holiday tradition that works for you. We are not a big fireworks family but this year son & husband did light sparklers, or sparkies as Jace calls them. We thought about going to see fireworks but they start so late ;) We did see some earlier in the week outside out hotel room ,so that seems like enough.
    Much love & happiness to you, sweet Momma xoxoxo Miracle

  5. Thank you Chrissy - this post helped me today. Ended up out on a bike ride that was not planned but requested when we went out to water the plants. One bike needed air in the tires, another needed the seat adjusted, we all needed to change out of flip flops (at least I said we did), some bug was buzzing my ear while I was trying to fix the seat and I had already broken a sweat. But I remembered your words, Chrissy, and they helped me get to the good part. Once we got going it didn't feel very hot and we rode on a path through the shady woods. Everything was so green. A deer ran across our path. I'm glad we did it. Getting to that point was inconvenient but it was worth it. I'm going to carry your words with me this summer. Thank you again. <3