Friday, December 22, 2017

Making Rainbows, Remembering Wonder and Feeling It All

"Look what I can do with my eyes," the little girl said. She had a giant red and green bow in her hair. Her voice was husky for a tiny little human who is only three. Her dress was covered with Christmas trees and ruffles, lots of ruffles. "I look into the light [she paused and looked out the window] and then blink and guess what, I can make rainbows with my eyes. I see so many colors everywhere," she said excitedly stretching her hands out wide. "Did you hear me? I can make rainbows with my eyes!," she said almost losing her breath she was so excited. She couldn't believe her newly discovered superpower.

That happened last week at work. I work in a preschool full of three-year-olds who teach me things like rainbow powers every day. They also teach me about finding joy in well, almost everything. It's raining? That means puddles to jump in! It's snowing? Well come on, that is just ridiculously exciting and magical and gosh, isn't the world amazing? These kids will make even the hardest of hearts melt and truly see and feel the wonder of being alive. Not just at Christmas, but every single day.

I'm so grateful to know these kids. Especially this past year because man, it's been a weird one. The political upheaval and mean-spirited compassionless agendas in our government are coinciding with my ever-changing perimenopausal hormones, my middle forties (maybe a midlife crisis?), my children becoming mini adults who drive and get jobs and have independence, and more financial stress than I anticipated.  It's a lot. Especially for someone with mediocre coping skills at best. 

Planning ahead has never really been my strong suit. I don't know what I envisioned this stage of my life to look like. I do know that it looks better than what my mother's life was like at this age and for that I am grateful. (And really, who could have ever predicted Trump? I don't know how to write a blog anymore without mentioning how affected I feel by the president and his supporters and how it all feels strange and unsettling and frankly I am still shaking my head with dismay...)

I am also grateful to be married to a pretty amazing person who encourages me to remember the good stuff about life and know that how I react to it just is what it is. He reminds me what he said to me when we first started dating almost 20 years ago. "You bring so much color to my life," he told me then and reminds me now. "You feel more than I have ever or will ever feel in my life," he said/says. "You make me see things differently. I love you. You make life interesting," he said/says.

Feeling a lot is my super power I guess. It's so good when it's good. But when there is a lot worry about, well, it can be exhausting. It can also get a little out of hand. 

The other day I sent my very patient and saint-like husband this text:

"We can't afford the extra car insurance, I forgot to take out the trash, I missed the sign-up sheet to volunteer in Wade's class, Roy Moore will win that election and the polar bears are starving to death. I can't take it Tim! [insert crying emoji/exhausted emoji, broken heart emoji]"

That night I turned off the news and tried to watch a movie with him. I randomly checked my phone and saw the social media posts that Roy Moore hadn't won. The other guy in the Alabama election won. I cheered and cried a little. It felt like maybe things were going to start making more sense, at least politically. 

Since that night, the news went back to being up and down, just like my hormones. Bills get paid but still the car insurance for a teenage son driver does seem a bit impossible to add. Hopefully we'll figure it out. We take steps forward and back and back and then forward. Doing the dance. Riding the ride. There are moments of pride and joy, and moments of stress and exhaustion. Through it all I am trying to let go and feel it all but not get carried away with worry. 

The other night I was sitting in my living room trying to keep my eyes open, trying to stay awake waiting for Peyton to come home. He's had his license for a few weeks and my god is it nerve wracking (even for a non-feeling/non-worrier). I was squinting at the tracking app I have loaded on my phone following the little bright blinking green dot that represented my son driving. The light from my phone made me squint even more than usual. Then I looked up at my Christmas tree and the lights all blurred together, and I saw a bunch of rainbows. I smiled remembering my little friend's super power at preschool. I exhaled with relief when Peyton pulled in the driveway and the blinking green light said "Peyton has arrived at home."

These next few days over the Christmas break I will be looking for rainbows and remembering the lessons of my preschoolers--finding joy in anything and everything, dancing the dance, riding the ride and truly feeling the wonder of being alive.



Here are a few reasons/moments/people from the last couple months that make me love being alive...





















































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1 comment:

  1. Sometimes we don't have to cope "well." We just need to get through it, and keeping getting through it, and look for the damn rainbows. Love you.

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