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I Surrender to the Day

Posted in: Blog by amy on September 27, 2011

It’s been almost a month now since the kids have been back in school. And while they seemed to adjust to the new routines rather effortlessly, many of us parents are still feeling caught in a cycle of chaos.  We long for the routine-free days of summer.  We miss the ease of no schedules, activities or daily carpools.  And, we dread the cold days ahead that we know are waiting to freeze over our windows and trees and gardens.

Yes, the dog days of summer are behind us. The kids are already knee-deep in homework and soccer games. Yet, why, four weeks later, are so many of us having trouble adjusting to the new routines? Why is it that with each season there comes a bundle of change that we so often seem to innately resist? We don’t WANT the cold. We don’t WELCOME the new, busy routines. We don’t DESIRE the over-scheduled lives. Yet, all of that is a part of what we chose. It’s all a part of the package that we created for ourselves. It’s a package that we were eager to unwrap: We couldn’t wait to have kids, to sign them up for lots of activities, to move to our homes in a place where the seasons change and the snow eventually falls. It is what we wanted. It is where we are.

And that is precisely the key: It is where we are. Many of us are simply used to our habits. They are comfortable. They are familiar. They feel like us. But, our habits can change just like the seasons. And, maybe we should learn from all that is around us in nature — all that is in the midst of perpetual change. Ironically, that change is what is often so beautiful. We don’t have to feel stuck in our current habits or in the past. Nor do we have to fixate on the hopes or the worries that we have for the future. We have to just accept where we are now.

Acceptance. That’s what it’s all about. And, it struck me as I was struggling to wrap my head around the dizzying schedules that were ahead of me. It strikes me as I still feel a bit more high-strung than I desire. I need to accept today as it is. I don’t want to wish away the days until the kids can drive themselves. I don’t want to count the months until Spring will arrive. I don’t want to anticipate the days when the kids won’t need my help with homework. Because, inevitably, all will change. It always does. The days that are chaotic now will pass and a new and different form of chaos will knock on my door. I know that. We all know that. There is always something with which we have to deal. There is always a time wherein we envision that things will be easier, quieter, less stressful. But, that time may not come. Or it may. We don’t know. We just know that we are here right now, in the midst of our daily routines and struggles and habits and lives.

We really need to take a step back in order to embrace today and all of its beautiful chaos. Revel in the noise. Celebrate where you are, even if it’s not where you want to be. I know that I crave some change in my life. But, rather than fixate and dream about where I want to be, I want to just be where I am right now. The kitchen sink is full of tonight’s dishes. Homework is awaiting my assistance. And, I have a pile of bills to which I must attend. It will all get done. Or maybe some of it won’t. It doesn’t matter … unless I let it. For now, all that matters is that I attempt to be present in this moment. That I stop longing for the quiet or ease of the future. That I let go of my hold onto the joys of summer. NOW. It’s all we have. And, it’s time to leap into it freely and happily. It’s time to let go of yesterday. To stop dreaming about tomorrow. To just be right here: in the midst of struggle, pain, dirty dishes, laughter, noise, hassles, homework, tournaments and bedtime snuggles.

Tonight, I will give myself the simple challenge of hugging my little ones without allowing my mind to wander towards the next task that I must complete … without thinking about how it’s past the time I wanted to get them down … without stressing about all that I have on my plate tomorrow. I am going to give myself that simple gift tonight. And, I’m going to give my children that simple gift tonight. Maybe it will become a habit, and I’ll repeat that sense of presence tomorrow night. Or, maybe tomorrow night, I won’t be able to let go and feel as free. Whatever it is. Whatever it may be. I am going to do the best I can do. I am going to accept wherever I am.

The sun, the Earth, the axis, the tilt, the seasons, the leaves — they all continue to change without resistance. It is a magical and dynamic flow. How beautiful it would be if we could close our eyes, breathe deeply and accept all of the ebbs and flows in our own daily lives, as well.

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One Response to “I Surrender to the Day”

  1. Ellen says:

    Great piece, Amy. Keep writing!

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