This past weekend, the family and I went to the park. The boys received tee ball/baseball stuff for Christmas and my husband wanted to make use of our slow Saturday morning. As he prepared to leave, he asked me if I'd join him.
I didn't want to go. For one, with the baby in tow, there didn't seem to be much for me to do other than hang out with her while she kicked it in her stroller. Second, it was a beautifully gray day, perfect for staying inside with a mug of hot tea and a book.
Recently, however, he and I have come to the conclusion that we need to be more present in our own lives, and that includes making decisions that push us away from comfort and pull us toward a life of intention. As a creature of habit, this is difficult for me. I freely admit that. And yet, the fact that I didn't want to do it made it all the more clear that I needed to lean into it.
I deliberately left my phone at home, instead opting for my Nikon. Though a well-intentioned step, I neglected to recharge the battery, so I only managed to get one test shot before the camera shut off completely. Boo.
Determined to make the best of it, though, I borrowed my husband's (ancient) cell phone and ended up having a blast! Because I wasn't distracted by the internet, I noticed things like the clean, crisp smell of the rain. I marveled at my husband's patient and encouraging spirit ,and my eldest son's eagerness to learn and his joyful exuberance whether he completely missed the ball or made contact. I witnessed the growing independence of my youngest son, who tried to catch a few balls with his new mitt, but then opted for playing in the dirt (and posing for pics). I saw my daughter looking on intently, observing sky and earth and active play.
All told, we only stayed for about thirty minutes because the rain went from drizzle to downpour, but that truncated amount of time packed a punch. I happily returned home with a bit of energy expended, fresh air in my lungs, and a growing sense of gratitude for this life.
As a result, I'm beginning this week with a sense of wonder, of expectation that something amazing will happen. This shift in attitude has changed me, and I pray for the discipline to make it a lifelong habit.
Bonus: Later that day, I not only got my tea time, but was able to share a cuppa with my oldest son, an act that is sure to be a regular occurrence.