Sunday, January 27, 2013

Treasuring the Moment

Decorating for Christmas is neither simple nor elegant at our house. After seventeen years of decorating with small children, I have learned to be much more realistic about what, how, and where I will decorate. And my girls want to help; because I care more about my children than I do having a beautifully decorated home, I let them. Which means, of course, that the house may look a bit different than I would prefer. It also means, because of my dislike of change, that I can get a bit uptight with the rapid and uncontrolled changes taking place around me.

This year, as we began the decorating process, I found myself very uptight. Normally a fairly relaxed, laid-back person who values relationship over most anything, instead of enjoying the process, I was snipping at my kids and getting irritated with my husband. Then, a realization struck me; I won't have this opportunity forever. My children are growing up, quickly!! Before I know it, girls will be heading off to college, only returning home for Christmas break, and not able to be part of the festivities. In just a few short years, we won't have any wee ones to deal with as we decorate. And then, I will be decorating alone with my husband, our children preparing for the holidays with their own families.

As the realization struck me, I took a step back, evaluated my attitude, and quickly adjusted it. Suddenly, though the only change was in my attitude, I began to enjoy the moment. What had been grating was transformed into treasure. And it was so delightful.

This adventure I am on, parenting special needs children (and teenagers), navigating unfamiliar territory without a map, has stretched me beyond my wildest imaginations and completely transformed my perspective. Life is short, you must make the most of each opportunity, but often the opportunities are neither obvious nor easy to recognize. They often come when least expected and may seem counter-intuitive to the situation. But opportunities must be captured, memories made, and moments treasured. We may never have the luxury of simple moments obviously waiting to be enjoyed, but we can choose whether we will be stressed out and uptight, or whether we'll step back and savor the moment, knowing it truly is only a moment.

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