My Mom always told me I was born under a lucky star. We weren’t rich by any means, and we had our share of hard times. Yet all in all, life has always just seemed to work out as it should. Now, I’m not a lucky person, per se. I don’t win door prizes and have never won so much as a dollar on the lotto or at a slot machine. It just doesn’t happen. But on the big things in life, things seem to go my way. Maybe it’s a matter of perception: I expect it will work out, so it does… or at least I see it that way.
But the last few months have been challenging. Life has been alright. Work is good. Kids are awesome. Hubster does well at school. But I have been feeling rather fried. I’ve felt frustrated, overwhelmed and confused personally. While my career has been right on track, privately I’ve been drifting. At the end of the day, after we’ve read bedtime stories and tucked the kids in tight, I just want to lay down and sleep. That’s not my normal M.O. I haven’t feel creative; I’ve felt drained. I’ve struggled to make decisions. Usually, I know who I am and am secure in my own skin. Lately though, I’ve felt haunted by self-doubt. Insecure. Old.
That energy – or lack thereof – quickly multiplies. What starts out as one “off” night turns to two, turns to ten – if you let it. I hate to admit that I’ve let it that feeling grow for a little too long now. I’ve been looking back instead of looking forward: thinking about “what if” instead of “what is.”
Now, we say goodnight prayers every time with the boys. There are certain phrases that I’ve said over and over for the last six years… things the kids added… that have become part of our ritual, our routine. They’ve always been special, but tonight they felt rote. I rushed through the opening line.
“Dear God: we come before you tonight to give thanks for this wonderful day and all the fun we had today. Please bless our family and friends…”
Then, Luke stopped me.
Luke: “You didn’t ask me what I was thankful for, Mommy.”
Nuts. “Sorry, Luke. What are you thankful for today?”
Luke: “That you got home safely.”
Jake: “I’m thankful that we’re all here together. What are you thankful for, Mommy?”
I was silent for a little while. They were so sweet, so earnest and so right.
I’ve been exhausted and looking for answers somewhere ahead of me, instead of seeing what’s right beside me. The kids reminded me of that tonight.
In the search for “what’s next,” you’ve got to remember how amazingly special “what is” truly is. And, if you’re struggling or searching, you have the power to turn the corner – to turn it around – if you set your mind to it.
We finished our prayers, gave goodnight kisses, and I came in here. I’m still fried, still exhausted. But what am I thankful for?
I’m thankful that I made the choice tonight to turn the corner. I’ve got a great family, dear friends and a roof over my head. I’m lucky. Maybe Mom is right. Maybe I WAS born under a lucky star. In fact, maybe we all were, if we choose to believe.