Livin’ It Up
Typically, I really really LOVE diving in and talking about deep matters. I love to read and think and process and chat about the most challenging and vulnerable places in my own life and in the lives of whoever I’m with.
I must admit: I can get pretty intense.
My best friend is good for me in this respect: occasionally, she’ll lightheartedly tease me about my constant need to always go deep and she reminds me that it’s okay to loosen up and get silly and “just be” with my people. That’s okay too.
Apparently not every single interaction I have with someone has to be super deep and meaningful and enlighteningly life-changing.
Or so I’ve heard. 😉
Several months ago I read a blog post by a woman (can’t even remember who or where!) in which she talked about how tired she was of pouncing on every. single. teachable moment with her kids. Sometimes you just gotta chill out and enjoy yourself, she noted.
And you know what?
I think I agree.
The Learner and Thinker in me still really treasures all my deep and meaningful powwows with my kids or with friends… but I’m also remembering how I actually really do like just living my life and goofing off with my loved ones.
The last few weeks of summer I made a concentrated effort to plan fun things with my kids so that we could build some good old fashioned fun memories together. I didn’t hide out in my room during every nap time to write or read every chance I had (like I usually do); rather, I watched movies with my daughters and chatted on the phone with long-distance relatives and I even napped a few times! It was pretty fantastic, I must admit.
One day we went to the beach with friends and, I kid you not, as soon as we got out of the car and started walking toward the ocean we spotted a pod of 20 or so dolphins and a few sea lions frolicking right by the shore! It was such a treasure! What a “welcome to being present in your life” that was! And the girls boogie boarded for the first time that day, too— with a sea lion only yards away from their giggling, excited selves!
And you want to know a secret? I boogie boarded too! My friend hung out with my toddler so that I could join all our fun-loving kids in the salty, freezing water! I felt alive, I tell you!
Another day, we went to a water park with my niece and we each took turns flying down twisty-turny water slides and floating in the lazy river all day. Top that off with In-N-Out burgers and shakes on our way home? Golden.
And another day, we grabbed my dad (aka “Boppa”) and high-tailed it to the Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk. We rode the merry-go-round together, ate bad-for-you, low quality Boardwalk food, and the girls went on their first roller coaster! We got stinky and sandy playing frisbee on the beach and then treated ourselves to delicious ice cream before we headed home!
And then, to top it all off, our friend who owns a bunch of horses invited us to go out to Half Moon Bay with her, a bunch of her dogs, and her two miniature horses— so the girls got to ride mini horses on the beach! Whaaaaat?!?!?! How awesome is that?
And do you know what my job has been during all of these experiences?
Just love them and let them love me and really be there —physically, mentally and emotionally— during our times together.
Yes, sometimes I capitalized on those “teachable moments” when they presented themselves. And I did still grab a book to read if all three kids were peacefully occupied with one another for a good long while. But I really have been trying to be less fanatical about pouncing on the teachable moments. I’ve been trying to just be here and be a source of love and comfort and encouragement to my girls when they are clearly giving me the signs that they’re not in the mood for a big heart-to-heart.
It’s hard for me.
But I must admit— it’s pretty darn fun to just let the wind blow through my hair and laugh alongside these beautiful people in my life as we ride bikes together, splash in the waves together, ride “The Big Dipper” together, and snuggle up for “Nacho Libre” together.
They really are such treasures. Both the people and the times we get to spend together.
What about you?
Do you ever, like me, tend to forget to let yourself go and just have a good time? What is it like when you do attempt to really truly be present in your life?
Please feel free to share your comments or your own journey in the comment section below.