It’s morning here and I just finished pouring another bowl of cinnamon cereal for the 9-year-old who needs to eat, like,everyday. So needy those kids.
And sometimes, I get stuck in that, the daily version of the Same Ol’ Routine which seems to have little to do with Saving the World and other important things I’d also like to put on my to-do list.
But, whenever I catch myself meandering down the path of Stuckness where I feel like I’m in a rut; whenever I’m feeling stressed or afraid or bored, I go looking for the gift. Because the meaning we assign to the moment determines how we experience it. And, I know now, after billions of bowls that there are a lot of different ways to look at cinnamon cereal so why not pick the one that makes me feel better?
Finding New Meaning in the Old Routine
I can go all off on the chores I have to do and all the meals I make and the work I have and the struggle and stress of living with chronic illness and managing household finances and kids and marriage. I can be buried by the routine of it all. And sometimes I do that. Sometimes I DO feel wiped out by it all. And I get a little whiney and complainy and sorry for myself and this is so completely, annoyingly human and not helpful.
Or, on the days when I’m a tad bit enlightened I remember that I am the one that gets to determine the meaning things hold in my life. I get to decide the import. If I’m picking a meaning that keeps me down, knocks me back, makes me feel bad that is just not a good deal. But, I can choose at any point to assign a different, more powerful meaning, one that will pick me up.
Choose a New Meaning
See, that’s the thing, it’s your choice. That isn’t to deny the crap that happens, it’s just to remind ourselves that the love and goodness lingers there too. Every moment holds the possibility of both things — crap and awesome. You can see either one so I choose the one that helps me feel good. More connected. More alive. Safer. Less stressed.
And most days, like this morning, I may see the crap — another morning, another reminder to get-your-shoes-on-the-bus-will-be-here-in-30-seconds, but I also see the bigger stuff. Instead of being overcome by another bowl of cinnamon cereal, I can sit in my beautiful kitchen, watching my amazing daughter eat a bowl of cereal that nourishes her mind and her soul.
When I looked at the routine THAT way this morning, all I could think of was Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Really. Life can feel complicated if we let it. Sometimes the little things DO get us down. But in those moments, in every moment, we can look around and see the goodness there too.
And when we give a powerfully, positive meaning to our moments, we change how we experience the world for the better.