Some days are so busy with schedules, work, and trying to do my best to meet the needs of my husband and children that I begin to lose sight of the beauty of everyday life. The days turn into weeks, weeks into months, and before I know it my daughter will start first grade, my son will be a year old, and then it will be Christmas again. I can so easily fall into a pattern of survival and just going through the motions that I begin to feel like a zombie. I forget to slow down and enjoy what I like to call life’s “ordinary magical moments.”
I’m making it my mission to find beauty in the ordinary. Even on days when I’m not ready to get out of bed (which is most days), everything seems to be going the wrong way, and my day is full of all the mundane tasks that aren’t my favorite. Staring at a computer screen all day. Figuring out what’s for dinner so my cute lil’ family doesn’t starve. Laundry… not just doing the laundry, but folding it and actually putting it away. Dishes… the ones I can’t stand to sit there overnight but I haven’t had two seconds to tend to for three days and now they’re all piled up like the dickens and have crap dried all over them. Cleaning the floors… oh, lordy. Don’t even get me started on the floors… the thought of that alone wears me out. Bath time. Bedtime. All the things that come along with preparing for school and work the next day.
Don’t be fooled. There’s no way all that is on my to-do list in one day, but you get what I’m saying. Sometimes it’s hard to find joy in the mundane and see beauty in the ordinary. But I don’t want to wake up one day and realize life has passed me by and suddenly think to myself in my best Australian accent (because it’s just more fun that way), “Crikey! Where has my life gone? And why didn’t I enjoy it more?”
The truth is beauty is all around us. It’s all around us but we will miss it if we aren’t paying attention. Sometimes we have to actively seek it. Today I was out taking some photos for a family member and I noticed some cacti and yellow flowers mixed in with the brush in the back of the yard. I kept thinking the yellow flowers were pretty and as we wrapped up I walked over to take a closer look at them. I noticed as I stooped down and peered inside one of the flowers there were several beetles inside it feasting on the pollen.
It didn’t occur to me until I got home hours later and sat down to start finishing up this post when I began to think about the flowers and the bugs hiding inside and how that relates to life. I know it may sound silly and some people may not care about bugs hiding inside of flowers but those are some of the little pieces of nature I don’t get to see all the time and that can change the way I feel about my day. If I hadn’t taken the time to stop and walk over, I would have never really gotten to enjoy the beauty of those flowers, nor would I have seen the little buggers hanging out inside them.
These are the kind of moments we should choose to seek out when the days seem dull and time is ticking away. Are they monumental moments? No. Are they life-changing and profound? No, not individually. But as they begin to accumulate over time, when we look back at our lives we’ll begin to see beauty instead of boredom.
So when I go to clean up the pile of dishes I’ll remember to enjoy the succulents in my kitchen window sill and the ivy growing on the fence outside it. When I’m folding piles and piles of laundry I’ll smile at the sound of my baby boy giggling as he plays on his play mat or bounces in his bouncer. And when I’m worn out as I’m trying to help my daughter get to bed, I’ll laugh as she walks into the bathroom to brush her teeth poking her head out and kicking her feet up with her hands perched in front of her body like a baby dinosaur. Because these, friends, are life’s ordinary magical moments and they are what brings beauty to life.
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