I was all up in my feelings last Monday evening. It had been an incredibly long work day. It was in a very real sense a Monday. Blurgh!
I generally don’t loathe Mondays as I love (most of) my work, but if that general refrain you hear from many people about hating Mondays was a thing for me it sure would have been that day.
I was tired and a wee bit crabby. My eyes were sore from spending more time on the screen than I normally would; my brain was tired as Charlie and I had a long executive meeting earlier that day, and my body was rebelling because I’d spent more time that day just sitting rather than switching between sitting, standing, walking, and pedaling. (I have a sit/stand desk, and also a treadmill and an under-the-desk elliptical-type thing that I try to alternate between.)
Our dear, sweet old-man cat, Petie, was making messes all over the place. Neither Charlie nor I had the energy to figure out dinner. I felt incredibly behind on my task list and it was just the start of the week. And, why the hell was I thinking about my task list??? It’s 8:00 p.m., be done already!
To add to the list above and my general feeling of Blurgh mixed in with Grrrrrr, it would not stop raining. I had been lulled into a sense of spring awesomeness in the previous weeks… only to get smacked down by the return of the Portland rains.
I think you get me. No need to continue with the list of All.The.Things. But, let me tell you, the list was way longer than what I’ve mentioned. Y’all, I’m not kidding, I really was all up in my feelings.
It was that time of the evening where I walk through the house closing up curtains for the night and shutting things down in preparation for wind-down. As I reached for the curtain in our bedroom to close it for the evening, I noticed a beautiful light outside.
As I looked up and out our window I noticed that the rain had eased considerably, and while there were still dark clouds in areas, there was also an amazing sunset happening that was turning the sky brilliant shades of orange and pink and purple. And, as I looked a little longer, I noticed one of the most beautiful rainbows I have ever seen.
Can you recall one of those moments in your life when you were trudging through, things felt heavy and hard, and you were just ready for the day to be over? That’s where I was. And, can you also recall ever being in that place and then noticing something so unexpectedly amazing and beautiful that all you could do was stop and take it in? I hope so. That’s what happened to me last Monday night.
This unexpected beauty was a balm. In that moment I just stopped all that I was doing. And, it was like the heavy just melted away. The moment was asking nothing of me but to be witness to what was there.
I would realize later that I had stopped all thinking about the past and future, about what had gone wrong that day, about being mad at the weather (seriously, I was mad at the weather! WTH?!), about what I was supposed to be doing, about everything. I was actually completely present in the moment.
Ohhhhhhh! That was the place (full presence) I try so hard to get to all the time, and it was in the not trying that it happened.
I know that I’ve shared with you many things in the past months about my journey and my personal struggles and also the overcoming of them, as well as the growth and more. But, to be 100% transparent, much more often than I would like it to be so, I miss the beauty that is around me. I miss being fully present to the wonder that is my life.
After a while of just noticing the beautiful colors in the sky and the rainbow, I called to Charlie and asked him to join me on the front porch for a bit to take in the beauty. I can’t speak to Charlie’s experience, although I did notice a bit of wonder on his face that I hadn’t seen in a while.
I can say for myself that when I walked outside not only did I notice the beauty in the sky, but I also noticed how clean the air felt, how gorgeous our roses were as they were starting to bloom, how our neighbors across the street were also outside taking in the rainbow as a family, how green and lush our neighborhood was, and how deeply refreshing the crisp, coolness of the evening air felt.
The experience was a balm to my harried self and a reminder that there is beauty all around me every day and in every moment. Beauty doesn’t disappear on the hard days. It’s me that loses sight of it.
On those days when things feel heavy and you’re just ready for tomorrow to be here already, can you take a pause to notice the unexpected beauty and tiny miracles that are all around you?
What is available in this very moment that asks nothing of you — other than to notice that it is there and that it brings goodness and beauty into your life?
It could be the silly thing your child said this morning at breakfast. The way your partner gives you the just-perfect hug when you least expect it. The way the light touches the flowers on your windowsill. Or the way your cat purrs as they hang out next to you while you work.
What is available here and now? Will you allow yourself to receive the gift?