Being Happy in the Moment
I have often heard the wise words of “Be happy where you are.” The meaning of these words can be stretched out into a whole sermon series if one is creative and long winded enough. However, the basic sentiment is not to wait until you reach a goal in order to be happy. I will be happy when I get out of debt, when I retire, when I have a family or any other variety of when I __________. Although I usually think of myself content with my station in life, I also know that my life feels chaotic and hectic. During the day I feel stressed because I feel pulled in too many directions. We were out at a restaurant the other night. We had already ordered our selection and were waiting on our food to arrive. Youngest child was chattering away about who knows what. Middle child was urging me to play a game of tic-tac-toe on the children’s menu with her. One of my oldest was trying to ask me a question and then I suddenly became aware that my husband had just repeated my name about three times. I was overwhelmed with all the demands being placed upon me simultaneously. I looked everyone over very quickly and in a louder than usual restaurant voice said, “Everyone hush!” The whole family just looked at me. Then one at a time I tried to address their needs. I think my husband thought it was funny to see me frazzled. But this is a normal part of my life, not an isolated event. Because it is part of our family status quo, I stay frazzled more than I stay serine. I would choose serine. My happy goal is not one of I will be happy when I reach X goal. Instead, I think I will be happy when things are calm, everyone is quiet, and the chores are complete. Which is usually the five minutes between my head hitting the pillow and falling asleep. Then I will be happy.
A few evenings ago I was experiencing our normal chaotic life. I was trying to get my youngest kids ready for bed. I was trying to get them to brush their teeth, put on their pajamas, go to the potty and get ready for me to tuck them in bed. They were fighting over who was in the bathroom first, who could use the potty first, who could brush teeth first and calling “Mom, mom, mom almost more than I could tolerate with any amount of patience. I sent middle child to my bathroom to use the toilet when I heard her scream my name one more time. “Mom!”
What? I replied with a good amount of irritation.
“Look at the sunset!”
I love that they see amazing things in the everyday, truly I do, but the constant, “look at this, look at this” drains me after a while. So I was not expecting much. To my surprise, the sunset was absolutely STUNNING. I wanted to tuck them in bed and go enjoy it. I knew that sunsets only last about five minutes at peak. I had a choice: to go ahead with my routine, or be happy in the moment. I chose to be happy and live in the moment. I grabbed my camera and went outside.
This is what I captured:
I chose to be happy in the moment. I needed that reminder. Now only if I can keep it with me.