Our daughter is getting married! Wait, let me say that again – our one and only girl, our princess is engaged. I have to pause every time I think of this because it simply seems surreal!
The road to her engagement started January 4 when her now fiancé hopped on a plane from Nashville to meet with my husband and I in person to get our blessing. Our daughter had no idea. He told us he would be asking her somewhere around the 31st which was the anniversary of their first date. This meant we had to keep a big secret for a long time.
I cringed knowing how hard it would be to keep a secret this big and exciting. But after a few days, I started to realize how much I was enjoying this process. Because I had this big happy thing on the horizon, I suddenly found things that would normally upset me didn’t seem as upsetting. I found that I was letting things go much quicker and I simply had more bounce in my step.
Upon realizing this, I started to think back. I’ve always considered myself to be a happy person. I’ve dealt with a lot and have gone through rough times, but I have always been one to count my blessings and focus on the positive.
So, why all of the sudden, did I notice such a change in my overall attitude and ability not to sweat the small stuff quite as much?
I pondered this for a long time. I did what I do best. I analyzed.
Perhaps it is because I’m older and more experienced? No, this didn’t feel like the right answer.
I knew I had a secret to keep. Moreover, I had to keep this secret from my daughter who I talk with almost every single day. So, life had to be lived one day at a time. But this didn’t seem life changing.
There was the evil side of me that just thought, ha – you think you can upset me but you can’t – when someone did something that aggravated me. Nope, not the solution.
There was a constant reminder of this happy thing about to take place. Although I won’t say I was distracted, different things I would see or hear would remind me of the excitement. There were songs on the radio that would send me back to a happy time with her as a child or perhaps a song we could play at the upcoming wedding.
That was my eureka moment! It has been the focus and emphasis that has allowed me to allow myself to be happier. It is all about perspective and the constant reminder of something good!
I realize now that although I’ve got so much to be thankful for, I’ve taken it for granted. I got lazy about the things that make me happy. I have been complacent in so many things.
I love inspirational quotes and there are millions about “the journey”. I never paid attention and now, I see what I have missed.
I looked up the definition of the word “journey” and google told me it is the act of traveling from one place to another. But I think it is more.
We all travel through each day and I have the sense that often times, it is more with the mission to get through it, or to arrive at the destination. It is to go to work each day and make it to 5:00. On Monday, we wish for Friday. At the first sign of a stressful day, the first words out of our mouths tend to be, “I can’t wait for this day to be over”.
But, do we ever stop ourselves on Monday to think about the big picture? Throughout any day, do we pause or get reminded of the really good stuff in our lives? Is there a project we are working on that is incredibly rewarding? Or do we focus on the things we are learning? In the face of stress, do we consider what the good things are in our lives that are bigger than that stress?
Sadly, I know I have not.
The best part in all of this is that I can change it! Today, I decided to focus on the steps in the journey. My office is filled with photos of the people I love. Today, I stopped to let myself be reminded by pausing to look at them and smile.
I allowed myself to celebrate after I made a cold call today and the person returned my call. I cherished every second when I got to talk with my daughter on her way home from work. I got to have dinner with the person I love most in this world. I ate a little slower to enjoy each bite. Then, I got to watch TV and see our son working the UConn Men’s Basketball game.
As said by Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while you could miss it”.
Now I know what they mean when they say, “stop to smell the roses”.