careful what you wish for 

A week ago, my “adopted” daughter left for home after spending two months with us. She’s not actually adopted. She lived with us for two summers and again this spring and is like a member of the family. I love her like she’s my own, so I call her my daughter.

To be honest, after this last time with her here, I had been looking forward to her departure. Three weeks prior to her going, my youngest son moved back home for the summer from college. In late December, my oldest son came home after graduating and started his new job. In six months time, we went from an empty nest to a FULL house and come mid April, I was antsy at the thought of five of us in this house with one sleeping on the couch and having to keep all his stuff in the family room for a few weeks.

The final week came. I began to realize that in my angst over “SUCH a full house and no peace and quiet,” I had forgotten just how much I love, appreciate and enjoy spending time with this young woman who is the closest thing I have to a daughter.

And then I got sad.

We went for a walk the night before she left and I confessed. I told her how I had been so busy worrying about a full house and wanting peace and quiet that I forgot to appreciate her and our time together.

And now it’s too late. At least for this time. I think she’ll come back again.  🙂

This is nothing new in my life. When my boys were babies, I couldn’t wait for the latest frustrating stage to be over. I lived in a constant state of “I can’t wait until.”

I can’t wait until…

…he stops spitting up.

…he can sit up by himself.

…he can eat real food.

…he can walk.

…he’s potty trained.

Don’t wish life away.

Instead of enjoying each stage of growth for what it was, I was looking forward to the next thing. As it turned out the next thing was never right for me either. Before I knew it, my babies weren’t babies anymore. They were graduating from high school and starting their adult lives. I missed out on so much by living in the future rather than appreciating every moment, good  and bad.

Living in the moment takes practice. 

When things aren’t going in whatever way I think is ideal, I try to remind myself that it won’t last forever. I try to find something to be grateful for in the situation. For example, when my grown boys, both at home for the time being, start getting loud and (delightfully) obnoxious, I remember how wonderful it is to have them here and that it won’t be too many more years until they are busy with their own families and don’t come home often. Then I do my best to have fun with them. It isn’t easy, but I’m getting better at it.

Gratefulness. I think that’s where it begins. Finding gratefulness in chaos, turns chaos into joy.

I will wish for gratefulness… And joy.

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