There is a baby I am nannying laying in my arms, eyes half-closed, fighting sleep. There are dishes in my sink back home. There are piles of paperwork I have to go through on the kitchen table, pamphlets I have to read, websites I have to study to learn how to start my business from the ground up. There are notifications buzzing on my phone, friends I need to call back, family members I need to email back today. There are six different to-do lists, each three pages or more long.
There are not enough hours in the day.
And yet, as I rock this little baby, hear the hum of a lawn mower across the street and the birds floating and singing lazily in the cloudy sky, I know one thing—no matter the items on my lists, the stress I’m feeling, the weight the world sometimes puts on my shoulders—I am blessed. I am happy. And I am thankful.
I am thankful for moments like this—when nothing goes my way, when I can’t catch a break, when all I need is a few more hours to breathe, to sleep, to think, to be still. I am thankful for the baby that cries, teaching me to slow down, to be patient even when that’s the last thing I want to be. I am thankful for the moments of peace where I can grab a quick drink and write from the heart. I am thankful to be here, even when ‘here’ is a little helter-skelter.
Right now, even though my heart is beating far too fast, even though everything feels like a landslide ready to fall with the tiniest, pebble-sized movement, I know I still have so much to be grateful for.
In my arms is a little baby, a miniature soul who loves me, even though I am not his family. Across the street are neighbors laughing, walking, and smiling. In the sky there are clouds that will eventually break into another spring day. On the other end of a telephone are friends and family that would do anything for me. In my mind are a thousand beautiful thoughts, that, though are overwhelming, are reminders that I am human, and capable, and alive.
Life is beautifully complicated. There are so many fleeting moments of goodness, followed by chaos and change. I’m still learning how to accept the opposing sides, still learning how to move with the ebb and flow like waves in the ocean. Sometimes I still fight the current. Sometimes I struggle just to keep my head afloat.
But if I’ve learned one thing in living by the Pacific is that you can’t fight what’s far bigger than you. Sometimes you are thrown by the waves, gasping for breath with the salt water stinging your eyes. And sometimes you go with the movement, fluid and steady.
And neither of these places are perfect, because even the ocean is unpredictable. Yet this is what makes life so wonderful—the unknown, the trust, the continuance. The knowing that even when you forget how to swim, you can float. And find your rhythm right there—deep breaths, body still, the white foam like a pillow underneath you.
Days like today I am reminded that above all else, I cannot fight what is meant to happen. I cannot will a crying child to calm, add more hours to the timeline, or rewind and replay. All I can do is focus on where I am right now, and the minutes I have left. All I can do is plan my next steps, but be excited for where I’ve been and not let the direction or future roadblocks change that positivity.
All I can do is trust that I will find my way, and in the meantime, remind myself how damn lucky I am to be here.
I am blessed. I am happy. I am thankful. This is what I repeat to myself as the baby howls, as the sun beams down on my back, as I drive home late from work, my eyes barely open. This is what I say to my reflection in the bathroom mirror when I try to cover the dark circles, when I want to cry because everything within me just feels tired. This is what I repeat to myself when I wake up, beginning another morning with a new mindset, trying desperately to start again.
This is what I hope you repeat to yourself, in moments both high and low.
You won’t always have this mess figured out. You won’t always be flowing with the waves, your body as light as foam. You won’t always understand the currents, or make sense of the winds and the tides.
But you are still beautiful, still blessed. There is still so much to be happy about, to be thankful for. So repeat those words again and again. And do not let your head hit the pillow without reminding yourself that you have the power to get through this. Just lay your head back and float.
Featured Image Credit: Katy Belcher[
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