In one of my favorite Katrina Kenison books The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother’s Memoir, she muses, “the good life is always the life of now, that the only moment is the present moment.” This mindset is ever embrace worthy while requiring a bit more discipline and intentionality during these days of uncertainty. Without the familiarity and comfort of brick and mortar schools, I’m finding my attention drawn to the nuance of our language choices and the ways in which they impact our state of mind.
In a recent conversation with some friends, one friend invited us to think about how we might make a small language shift from have to or can to get. Instead of thinking I have to figure out digital mini lessons, or I can do virtual read aloud, we might shift our language to I get to figure out digital mini lessons, or I get to do virtual read alouds. The difference is so small and yet the shift in mindset and purpose is huge. Research in positive psychology reassures us that these meager changes are not to be underestimated; their payout is enormous. When we shift to a more grateful and optimistic state of mind our overall happiness and productivity improves.
During these stressful times when I feel as though all my roles are collapsing in on one another--mother, partner, teacher, consultant, friend, daughter--I find myself struggling to hang on to this sense of appreciation. I find myself wishing I could truly say, today is the good life, this moment is good. In my struggle, a quiet voice began to whisper in my head. It decided on just a few particular words: I want to remember.
This small mental pivot has done some much needed good for my heart and my head. As I settled on these words, I found myself inserting a variety of moments, both those celebratory and lackluster. By declaring that these are the things I want to remember, I decide that they all matter and each is worth marking because they are my life right now, and I know that these moments are fleeting.
My wish for you is that you are able to make some light from the dark and that you find small joys in the unexpected and challenging. We learn and change and grow so much when we embrace it all with courage and humor and goodness in mind. In this way, it’s easier to remember the privilege, heartache, and joy of everyday living.
I want to remember painting our toes on the front steps.
I want to remember Nathan river walking in fishing waders.
I want to remember appreciation for plums and blackberries.
I want to remember Julia saying, “Oh my josh!”
I want to remember deep breaths taken.
I want to remember the look of midday sunlight in my own home.
I want to remember the quiet of a shower.
I want to remember five finch eggs hatching in our porch wreath.
I want to remember trying my hand at knitting.
I want to remember the shrimp fried rice all over the kitchen floor.
I want to remember playing “shark” and Clue and P.I.G.
I want to remember brave new learning and teaching.
I want to remember milk carton boats.
I want to remember longing for a friend’s hug.
I want to remember my husband’s reassuring embrace.
I want to remember need versus want.
I want to remember the very best of people.
I want to cherish and savor and remember it all.
We invite you to share your own rememberings via Twitter @drgravitygLLC.