Monday, February 17, 2014

The Long View

Many of you are probably wondering why I posted my non-fiction children's article yesterday.  Partly I did it to share a piece of myself with all of you, and partly I did it to remind myself about that part of me.  Often, when we are dealing with the day in, day out routine of our lives, our world shrinks.  We can only view our immediate problems or blessings.  We forget that what we are experiencing is only for this moment, and that one day...good or bad....this moment will only be a memory.

Falling into this trap is dangerous.  If we are blessed to be in a good time of our life, and we think it will continue forever, we are likely to not appreciate the blessing we are experiencing.  Worse yet, when the good finally ends and something less enjoyable takes its place, we can become angry and resentful that tribulation has upset our happiness.  On the other hand, if we are enduring a tough season and all we can focus on is our trouble, we lose hope.  We are tempted to give up and the weight we are carrying can crush us.  We can become despondent, feeling that our lives will always be thus, and we can fall.

How much better off would we be to take the long view of things; to recognize that our bad days are numbered and will not last forever. How much better to recognize the gift of each day that is filled with "normal" blessings.  The long view allows us to maintain perspective.

 I loved writing children's stories, and there have been a few days over the past decade of raising small children that I have wondered if I would ever be able to enjoy that particular thrill again.  On those days, I would get out my stories and articles, read through them, and then put them back in the file cabinet telling myself that one day I could tackle that project again.  I do not resent my children or the other children whose noise and busy-ness was too distracting to allow all those stories in my head to order themselves onto paper.  I have loved my time with these little ones, kissing their boo boos, watching their eyes as they catch on to something new, and being there for all of the laughs and the tears.  I have LOVED staying home with my babies.  Next year, when school starts, my house will be empty.  And while that will be a big change, I am not upset about that prospect because it will allow me the quiet I need to write again.  The long view told me I would not have little children forever and so I should take the time to enjoy them as much as possible, leaving other things for other days.  And the long view also tells me that when they leave, I still have plenty in my life to enjoy.

We would all do better to take the long view more often.  I am not saying I always have.  I have fumed at the never ending housework, the seemingly endless days of potty training, and the often repeated lessons that are the daily tasks of raising children.  I have not always stopped to look at the treasure on of my little ones found or to listen to all the details of an elaborate story, because I was too consumed with the next thing on the list.  But when I can stop and realize that the laundry won't last forever - and neither will the treasure hunts - I can better enjoy each moment as it happens.  And I can better embrace each change as it occurs.




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