Instructions for Living Life~
Tell about it
Note: I wrote a version of story that follows almost four years ago. If you read the original what you didn’t see was the fall-out. At the time, my deeply private (and barely teenage) son was mortified by his mom’s whimsical musings. He was okay with the blog post, but didn’t appreciate the Facebook tag. It took both of us awhile to come back to each other. Since then, he’s graduated from high school, earned an opportunity to play college football, and owns his new adulthood and freedom like a boss. I think he’ll be okay if I post this story again. Love you, Dane. xo
So many things make me toes-up-in-the air happy.
The scent of lilacs.
A pop-up thunderstorm.
Spools of nutscene twine.
Red rust patches on an old tin roof.
Good wine and great friends.
The slant of moonbeams and Orion’s Belt in a clear sky.
Baby ducks, baby plants, and pictures of my babies.
When bread rises, the home team wins, and a seeing-eye single scores two.
I wish my brain could snap photographs and slap them into a photo album for safe keeping. A click to capture the moment with a minds-eye shutter speed at Mach 10 to confiscate every nuance, expression, and word. Like my son’s knock-you-stem-winding smile or my daughter’s spontaneous laugh.
One summer, our son Dane talked us into advancing him the dollars owed for mowing. He had a Zumiez longboard in his sights, and his budding teenage independence argued like a high-paid personal injury lawyer. My default mama thoughts hurdled to head injuries, collisions with cars, and road rash. Visions of extracting gravel out of cavernous wounds delivered a resounding no to the tips of my lips and the urge to bubble-wrap my kids quadrupled. Fortunately, the wiser and less neurotic partner in this marriage stepped in said: “Why can’t he get a longboard? It’s his money.”
I hovered and helicoptered and engineered until Dane offered an olive branch reserved just for over-zealous moms. He invited me to go skateboarding with him and added, “You can spot me and take pictures.”
As I watched him maneuver the board with confidence and fearlessness, my heart cherished the opportunity to learn from my son. Lessons learned by listening and not preaching, and watching without an agenda. Here’s what I learned.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things: Be curious, be aware; do what scares you and make it count. Treasure your life by experiencing it.
- It’s okay to make mistakes and look silly: Being perfect is tedious. What adventure is there in getting it right the first time?
- Go outside: Nothing beats the blues or boredom like beautiful skies and back roads. I have solved many problems and bad moods by taking my butt outside.
- Sometimes you have to slow down to go fast: Why do we assume that faster is better? Chillax, bruh!
- Do things that make you smile from earlobes to eyeballs: Keep the people in your life who make you grin from the inside-out. Do the same for them.
- It’s not a weakness to ask for help or advice: We are such a social, yet stubborn, species. Why do we think we have to do everything ourselves?
- Goofing off is good for you: Wholehearted and happy adults play.
- Life is full of uphill and downhill treks: Sometimes you coast, and sometimes you climb. One is not better than the other—terrain changes are part of the trip.
Mindset: Review the light lessons I’ve listed above. Do they seem vague or too broad for you to grasp? That’s on purpose because I want you to personalize them. To think about what each one looks like in your life. Grab a journal and jot down the lessons that resonated with your heart. Circle the one that feels the easiest to implement. Do that this week!
Now, circle the lesson that feels the most difficult. Come back to the suggestion when you’re ready. Then, when the time is right, snap on your helmet, hop on the deck, and go for it!
Mantra: I am present. I am living. I make each day count.
I’m working on additional mindfulness content that will only be lightly featured on this blog. If you’d like to participate, sign up for my free, monthly newsletter. Coming January 2019! Note: If you’ve signed up in the past, you are already in! Thank you for being here 🙂