For years upon years, I thought if I filled my schedule with meaningful things, I could make the world a better place. The result is that I often feel completely depleted with nothing left to give. Last week I decided that I am done spinning so many plates.
Within a week’s time, the twins were potty trained, our under attended cat found a new home and my beloved, very elderly grandmother passed away by my side.
I am in awe.
Spinning around the dance floor with my daughter, tears fill my eyes with joy as a song from the Passover Seder rings through my head, “Da-yei-nu, da-yei-nu”- it would have been enough. At that moment, dancing with sweet Simka in my arms would have been enough; Then remembering my life is filled with not one, but four beautiful kids would have been enough. Tears continue streaming down my face as I think of my incredible wife, family and community and those within the community that are sharing even more love and acceptance with our family; my heart nearly spills over with gratefulness swimming in the abundance of enough.
I battled the copier, for more than four hours. I tweaked settings and sources, called the help line and pleaded with colleagues for assistance. It was only when I surrendered the idea of instant results, that this machine began to release a few copies at a time. In the end my project was complete and I learned that letting go of instant results allows space for completion in its own time.
My four year old hopped up on my lap as I was previewing a documentary on autism for a graduate course I am teaching in the fall. The conversation went something like this:
Daughter: “What’s this about?”
Me: “Oh, it is a movie about autism.”
Daughter: “Great, I’ll watch the baptism movie with you. I know all about kids and God.”
Me: “This is about autism, not baptism.”
Daughter: “Yeah, I know. Kids and God.”
Me: Hmmm, O.K.”
Perhaps autism really is just about people and understanding the unknown. At this moment, I am pretty certain my preschooler can teach this course in my stead.
So often we limit our activities to that which falls into the realm of expected behavior. I recently found myself stuck in traffic behind an elderly couple in a convertible coupe with a walker bungeed to the back. It was a great “why not?” moment. Imagine how much happier we will be when we start doing what fills our soul regardless of the reactions or expectations of others.
Sometimes a success can be categorized by everyone getting out the door fully dressed and alive. This morning was a success.
Even though there were no sudden spills or urgent cries I found myself launched forward like a ski jumper, racing a round the house trying to prepare for the next event of the day. Then I realized I was not in a hurry. Slamming on my breaks I forced myself to stop and stand up straight, take a deep breath and remember while life can be busy, it does not always have to be executed at break neck speed. There are moments where it is critical to lean back and relax.