If you crawled into my head most days you would hear something like this:
Oh my word I have so much to do today - Why is Lexi melting down already? – Crap they’ve got to leave to get to the bus – Ok, now I have to post on my blog – Babies hungry – Crap forgot breakfast… again – Alright time to make flyers for that convention this week – Really baby your tired already – Man I need a shower –Dang it I need to do laundry, and dishes, and clean the house – Seriously baby you are already awake? – How is my to-do list growing? – Baby just be happy, I’m busy – Dang it Lexi needs insurance – I need to call my legislator again – I need to make 10 phone calls to get more people involved – I really don’t want to cook dinner – I’m going to be late to Lexi’s bus stop – Lexi be happy and watch TV – Baby just be happy for a minute – I have like 40 more things to do today – How is the house so messy? – Well, Nate is going to have to make dinner – Kids, husband, I’m busy right now – How is it already night time? – Dang it! I didn’t get half of the things done I needed to!
Most days I run around like a chicken with my head cut off doing a million little things while my to-do list grows ever longer. I put my kids in front of the television, or give them toys, or just hope they will be happy for 5 minutes, so I can get a bit more done. The problem with days like this is by the end of them my to-do list is still long and I feel empty inside, like somehow I missed something.
And it’s true, I did miss something. I missed the point. The point of every one of those small tasks on my to-do list is to make my family’s life better, to make my family happier. But while I am accomplishing all those never ending tasks, my family is being completely ignored. What I really want is being completely ignored. I am definitely missing the point.
On those rare occasions when I actually stop running around like a crazy woman, stop letting my mind stress over the 100 things on my to-do list, and just enjoy my family – really enjoy my family – that is when I find the point. When I stop and sit down with my baby, play clapping games and giggle with her as she hyperventilates over her excitement of balloons – I find it. When I chase Lexi around the house tickling her and throwing her on the bed, then sit down with her and make snakes and balls with play dough – I find it. When I stop and enjoy my husband’s company while we talk about all the intricate details of our life and the world around us – I find it. When I put my family first, instead of my family’s to-do list – then I find it.
What do I find? I find the point, the reason, why life is worth it. I find happiness. I find happiness in Lexi’s smile and silly antics; happiness in Zoe clapping, laughing and saying “mama”; happiness in holding Nate’s hand and stealing a kiss; happiness in paying attention to these people I love.
And isn’t that what we are all looking for – Happiness? There are books, and seminars, and therapists, and pills, all designed to give us that sought after amazing feeling of happiness. We run around buying new things, cutting our hair in new ways, and trying to accomplish that one task that when it is completed we will be there – we will have finally reached happiness. Really, we are all missing the point. Happiness has been right in front of us the whole time. Right there with the ones we love. There in their touch, smile, voice, and presence. There is where we can find happiness.
Now I’m not saying it’s time to be irresponsible. But I am saying that I could really use a bit more happiness in my life. So, with that, it is time for me to go. My family is waiting.