This weekend we celebrated Mother’s Day. This is a day where all the moms (either biological or not) get together and are showered with gifts and adoration. Every corner you turn, you will see various colors of pink and all types of flowers. If you wanted to take mom out for dinner but failed to have a reservation, forget about it! It will be nearly impossible to find a seat let alone a restaurant that is willing to satisfy your belly. Churches will be packed and there is a strong possibility that you will hear “I’ll Always Love My Mama” by The Intruders at least 76 times, and rightfully so. But, this day had me thinking, “why must we have instructions on when it is an appropriate time to celebrate someone that you care for?”
One thing that I have learned through life and most recently during COVID-19, is that life is short. In 2019, we all were enjoying “outside” and moved freely. In a matter of a few months, everything changed. In 2019, I saw so many opportunities that were coming for my family and me. I graduated from college, my husband accepted a new job that caused us to relocate and I was even offered a position as well. Life was good. I found myself consumed with all of the things that I did not have before my graduation. I could smell the fruits of my labor and they were finally tangible for me.
Three months before the shutdown, my family and I had the time of our lives. We began the process of house hunting and thought that it was going to be a smooth process. Boy was I wrong. What should have been a 3-6 month process, took up almost a year (that’s house hunting for ya!)
While some people were going through the motions and figuring out their new “side hustles”, I was developing a new relationship with my family. Before, I was always on the move. I can honestly say that I neglected my family. I was not as involved as I should have been as a wife and mother. I missed a lot of opportunities with my husband to bond and grow closer to him as my friend and life partner. My sons were neglected as well when it came to our relationship. While I was physically there with them, I was not emotionally present. The behavioral change was noticeable but, I failed to notice. I take full accountability for all of my flaws but, I must say that I am grateful for all of the lessons that COVID-19 has taught me.
So, what did I learn?
Learned that each day has beauty but we have to take the time to open our eyes to see.
During this time, my family and I took daily walks. On our walks, we noticed so many flowers, animals, and bugs. We would walk and see the sunset and pay attention to the nighttime stars. I must admit, it is gorgeous.
You never know what you have until everything has been taken away from you.
While I have always loved and adored my family, I did not know their true characteristics until we were forced to spend all day and night with each other. I found that one child is the funniest ever (there is never a dull moment with my youngest son). My oldest son is not quite, he is calculated. He is the type of person that wants to fill out the room before he decided if you are the type of person worthy of his unique sense of humor. My husband, well, I realized that he is a bit more nerd-ish than he was when we first met. Still the same guy but, a little more childish. So, it turns out that I have a pretty cool family that needs a reality show ( hint hint).
Be at peace with what you have.
During this time of quarantine, we were ok with not going out and buying things. Now, if you are a close friend of mine, you know that on the weekends there are certain places that you can find me. Target, Marshalls, and HomeGoods are my comfort zones. Some would even classify them as my “place of zen”. However, I did not find the need to randomly go to the stores to have my week scavenger hunt. I was ok with just being still and at home. We were not one of the ones that contributed to the stock of Amazon if we didn’t need to. We were the “only for necessity” shoppers. We made so many meals together without the need to order out. Instead, we enjoyed our time together and got creative.
When we finally were able to resume house hunting in April of last year, we found our home and immediately fell in love with it at first sight. I will add that we had an amazing realtor that we were working with and stayed connected to us all through COVID until it was time to start searching again. Once we finally closed, my family and I looked around and knew that we had no other choice but to be grateful. At each stage in our lives, we were grateful. When we first married and were in our first apartment, we were grateful to be a union together. When we were in military base housing, we were grateful for having a safe home. When we relocated and bought our first home, oh we were extremely grateful. I mean, every single place that we have ever been blessed to live, we have been grateful. Going through this pandemic, we saw so many people that have had to mourn the loss of a close friend or family member. My family and I were spared by the virus and for that alone, we are grateful. Every day that we wake up alive and in good health, we are grateful.
Life is such a beautiful experience. We have to take from it what we can and embrace the difficulties that can turn into a treasure. While we can’t always change the circumstances around us, we can alter the way that we respond because remember, we all could use more Pretty Thoughts.