Everyone has challenges. We’re all burdened with regrets from our past, struggles in the present and concerns for the future. Often burying ourselves under a pile of worries. While I’m not suggesting that any of us has the ability to walk away from our pile, sometimes it’s important to put things in perspective and live in the moment.
I’ve been feeling a little stuck lately. Overwhelmed by everything from finances to parenting challenges to what to make for dinner. Yesterday, I was sitting with a stack of bills in the den and found myself watching Jack and wishing that his mood were contagious.
Jack was sitting on the couch watching a movie with one hand resting on Keegan and the other firmly in his mouth (he’s a chewer). His expression was one of pure joy. JOY is Jack’s usual expression. His mouth falls naturally upward and his eyes literally glow. Whether he’s watching television, eating or spending time with friends, Jack is completely present and happy. Although he can’t speak, Jack clearly understands everything around him. Spend an afternoon (or even a meal) with him and you will see that he is following every bit of the conversation. And, don’t let his juvenile behaviors trick you. Jack is a 16-year-old boy – he likes loud music, pretty girls and fart jokes.
As I watched Jack yesterday, I marveled at his beautiful and relaxed expression. His life is complicated but he always manages to find his peace. It occurred to me yesterday that his challenges provide him the excuse (that’s not really the right word, but you get the idea) of not needing to worry about things like paying bills, making dinner or doing homework. His sole responsibility is to live. He has a solid team caring for his needs allowing him to simply enjoy each moment. He knows that his sister will find him a good movie to watch, food will be provided when he is hungry and he will be changed if his clothes get wet.
While I have my pile of worries, I realized yesterday that, like Jack, I’m surrounded by a team to help manage my pile. I can’t rely on my team to do everything, but I don’t need to do any of it alone. Suddenly, I felt my shoulders relax, I put down the bills, announced that we were ordering in dinner, grabbed a pillow and found a spot on the couch next to my boy.
Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, stop by and spend a little time with Jack. I can promise you that you will walk away feeling a little lighter. It’s like yoga without all the stretching.