Today I woke and it was silent. The bed warm, soft and clean. I am safe. I rise to use the bathroom. The toilet flushes. The water runs from the faucet so I can clean my hands and take a drink. In the kitchen, I make coffee, warm and comforting. The sun rises to paint the sky golden, tangerine, and rose. Birds sing me a melody. I let the dogs out and a breeze kisses my cheek. For a moment, before all the crazy of the day begins, all I feel is love. I am loved. I can love.
If I go slow enough each day, I notice the love. I can become love, channel love.
When I hurry, I miss it.
This going slow, this noticing, has been the hardest part of being a mom and a wife and a daughter all at the same time. Of being an adult really.
They call this the sandwich generation, between the raising of the kids and the caring for parents.
And I hear: Don’t forget to care for yourself! Don’t neglect your marriage! Slow down! Enjoy these moments! Only how? The hours are short and the demands are long.
I was told as a young girl that I could do anything I wanted. I could have it all. This, I was promised, was the fruit of my generation of women after so many women had fought before us.
Only, in the doing and the being anything and all, a whole generation of us lost touch. We lost touch with the ability to love simply. There is just too much to do in a day for us being anything and all women. I feel like I need balance.
I just got back from my niece’s graduation from high school and the thing I realized about all graduations is the promise.
There is this feeling in the room of promise. The young are full of it, and we cannot get enough of telling how full of promise they are. Worst of all, we also tell them they better not waste their promise. Go out and do great things, we tell them. Because in your short time you have already done so much. You are great, keep being so.
We think this is helpful and inspiring. And it is, when they are doing well and doing great. But what happens when they fail, as we all do from time to time? Do these young think that they are no longer living up to their promise?
I felt I wasn’t living up for a long time when I realized I couldn’t have it all. I wasn’t living up to my promise. I felt like there was something wrong with me because it was promised that I could have it all and I wasn’t making that work out. Nobody ever showed me how much of “promise” is really about failure and choice. And then getting up the next day and moving slowly to notice. And become. All over again.
It took me years to learn that lesson.
Am I teaching it to my kids?
Do they notice?
The only way to have it all is to be happy with what you have.
To get up each day to notice and become love.