Have you ever just stopped?
What I mean is, have you ever just taken a moment to be in the moment? Stopped worrying about what was to come next, or thinking about things that you can't control?
A few days ago it was drizzling, but my flower child insisted on being outside. "Mommy, outside?" It wasn't raining too hard, so outside is where we went. No shoes, no shirt, just a diaper. After a few minutes, it started to rain a lot harder. MeMaw and I were taking cover in the garage, but Shelby wanted company. She thought it was a fabulous idea to yank my flip-flops off and pull me out into the rain. She giggled and smiled while yelling "naining!" It's hard to say "no" when you see the joy and pure happiness your kiddo gets from something as simple as playing in the rain on a hot summer day.
The impact of the moment didn't really capture my attention until later on that night when I had a few minutes to digest my day. At what age do the simple things stop making us happy? I feel like it happens to everyone. Like adulthood sucks the life out of little moments that were so simple, involved little effort but made us immensely happy as kids.
As you know, back in November I left a job I had been with for almost five years. I walked in on a Tuesday morning, packed up my desk, sent a lengthy email to my direct supervisors, took my desk plant and walked out. It was a defining moment in my life. I finally decided to stop complaining about my job, about my displeasure with my day to day life, and instead, I did something about it. I turned my bitching into an action that ended up impacting my life more than I knew it could or would, at the time. Now, I spend three day weekends with my baby girl every week. I enjoy a work environment where not only am I appreciated by my employees but by my employer as well.
I know we all have to grow up-especially now that Geoffery the giraffe has retired and Toys-R-Us is no more- but do we really have to lose all the joy that little moments used to bring us? I think we all need to try a little harder to find joy in the simple things.
If you're an introvert, is it possible to become less introverted?
We were in the car on the way home from a barbecue at a friends house when Tim told me that I seemed to be less introverted since Shelby came into our lives. It got me thinking.
My daughter, even at just seventeen months old, is so much an extrovert, especially when compared to her mother, but there's no doubt I've been forced out of my comfort zone a lot more in recent months. Shelby is a chatterbox. She says hello to strangers and thrives off interaction with others. She's forced me into a lot of random, nonsensical conversations about things like her shoes, with complete strangers. Her outgoingness has forced open a door inside myself that I didn't know existed.
Don't get me wrong there's no doubt I still struggle with social situations. The difference is I don't seclude myself to a corner for the entire duration of an event. I'm still hyper-aware of what everyone else is doing or saying, but Shelby forces me out of my safe little corner and tosses me into the middle of the party. When you have a toddler who thinks the ladder into the pool looks like an awesome place to play, or that the rocks in someone's pond need relocating, you're forced to your feet to patrol the tiny person.
I'll always be an introvert, but there's no doubt that Shelby has helped to expand my horizons to be a little be less exclusive. I knew when we decided to have a baby that becoming a parent was going to change my life, but I didn't realize just how much my child would end up teaching me, even at just seventeen months old. I love deeper, move faster, and have a zest for life I didn't always have before.
It's summer, so we've been busy swimming, hiking and trying to beat the Buffalo heat. In all the hustle and bustle of being on the move, I have found myself chuckling quite a few times when I think about all the times I was told, "when you are older, you will understand," or "just wait until you have kids of your own." I remember explicitly thinking to my [naive] self, "I already understand, and my opinion wouldn't change when I'm older."
I remember waking up in the morning, while in High School, and being completely mortified by the red monster that decided to take up residence on my face overnight. Being fair skinned, I would try and cover the little bugger up with multiple shades (and brands) of concealer. I must have looked ridiculous because I'm POSITIVE none of the concealers I used were the right shade for my ghostly white skin, nor did I apply them the right way. Sitting on the floor in my dark bedroom, in front of the full-length mirror, with the closet light on is most certainly not the ideal way to apply make-up. I was better off leaving the red bump for the whole world to see rather than having my face look like a two-year-olds paint pallet.
At one point I did ask my mom to take me to a dermatologist to which she told me no. The one or two red mounds on my face were nothing in comparison to the skin issues other people were facing. Suck it up butter-cup.
As an adult, a pimple friend pops up and the most attention it gets is an internal thought of "oh, that's just lovely," but life goes on without 10 pounds of concealer or a panic attack.
I used to wear makeup because I was afraid of what others would think of me without it. Now I wear makeup because I like the way I feel when I add a little spruce to my face, but there are far more weekends spent without makeup than there used to be.
That age-old saying, "you'll understand when you're older" applies to so many aspects of life, but it most recently applies to my desire, or lack thereof, to please other people.
I have one life to live, and I'll be damned if I'm going to live it according to the wants and desires of other people. Hell to the NOPE! If I want to rock shorts with my pasty, ghostly white legs, I'm gonna do it without a care in the world. If I want to run to the grocery store with a messy bun on my head, and absolutely zero makeup on this gloriously plain face of mine I'm gonna run, run, run to the store! If I want to wear what some might consider an obnoxious "I love my Pitbull" t-shirt, I'm gonna wear it with a HUGE smile on my face!
I'm older now, and I'm beginning to understand all the things my parents told me I would understand when I was older. I'm beginning to understand all the things that seemed like ENORMOUS roadblocks, or ginormous hurtles where actually molehills and ant dwellings compared to the BS we have to deal with as adults.