It’s been a rough morning. Want to see the list? Of course you do.
- I have a headache.
- The pile of laundry I need to fold covers a space on my living room floor approximately the size of a Volkswagen.
- In a moment of profound weakness, I gave in and let my children adopt a kitten that our neighbor found. I actually like her a lot more than I thought I would, but I took her in for initial shots and exam yesterday, and let’s just say I was not prepared for that kind of investment. This morning I got the notice-of-overdraft email from my bank.
- We had our family picture taken last night, and my children were suddenly possessed by demons. Keep in mind that I do not have any more toddlers or even preschoolers, and yet… YET… I found myself asking them to stop flopping around on the floor and ignoring every bit of instruction offered by the photographer. Here is a photo I snapped with my camera phone during the studio process.
- We are headed out of town (which is a great thing), but the process of getting everything ready is stressing me out.
- I keep remembering last-minute tasks that I should have finished before we go. (When?? will I get them done?)
So while all this stuff was swirling around in my head, I had to stop myself and change the list. I had to look for and recognize the reality that’s happening alongside my stress list.
- Natalie is putting up Halloween decorations and singing Christmas songs. ?? Whatever, she’s festive.
- Clark is curled up on the couch reading a book.
- I still have some leftover caramel sauce that I made for a Relief Society activity.
- Grant has been helping me switch over the laundry loads.
- Some parts of the house are mostly clean.
- We all kind of like each other, and everyone is pretty much content (if you ignore my own personal bad attitude).
- Our home is warm and cozy, and we’re all enjoying decent health.
- In less than 48 hours, I will be taking that cruise I WON over the summer. [You do not need to tell me to shut up already; I am at this very moment in a process of self-correction.]
Anyway, that was my clarity checklist. My stress (and probably my headache) is the result of looking at my life in an unbalanced way. President Uchtdorf JUST said last weekend (I’m a slow learner):
Brothers and sisters, no matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it.
So as I hung the picture on the wall today, it struck me as funny how we always look at family pictures and make all these assumptions about how lovely and put-together that family is. We can’t see the behind the scenes meltdown at the photo studio, nor can we see the laundry piles and headaches at home. But despite all that, I look at it on the wall today and think, “You know what? It really IS a beautiful family.” Because even though I know every single detail of the back-story, I can still see it for what it truly is– the whole package, the gory and the glory all wrapped up in one. My day will still be busy, and I’m bound to handle things more stressed-out than I’d like to, but I feel my eyes just a little more open to things as they really are … and there’s plenty there that’s better than fine.