Kids have an unbelievable gift for finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. Discovering joy right where they are at. They show me how to be more present and to stop making comparisons. Thankfully I have 6 of them + a 21 year old 😊 They have taught me so much.
The other day as we just shut the front door to leave to go on a family walk. A calendar notification pops up on my phone. It was a canceled family vacation. 😩 I wish I had deleted it. I open the calendar app and see I have a canceled speaking trip the following week. It was like throwing salt on an open wound. 😭 My thoughts start spiraling down a rabbit hole of all the things our family has missed out on if it weren’t for the pandemic. Instead, we are on a walk around the neighborhood right after it rained. Sweet. 👍
As we stroll down the sidewalk we approach a puddle. Our daughter, Izzy 👧🏼 (7yr), takes off sprinting. She jumps like a long jumper but instead of landing in a sand pit she lands right in the middle of the puddle. 💦 Water shoots in every direction and hits me. I’m now more irritated.😡
Before I can say something to her about getting me wet and getting her shoes dirty, our 2 year old, KD 👶🏾, erupts in laughter. As if it was the funniest thing he has ever seen. He walks over to the puddle and starts jumping and giggling. Soon everyone joins in stomping and splashing each other.
I can’t help but smile. 🙂This moment stops me in my tracks as I admire the joy and fun they are having with just a puddle. They don’t need the beach, a resort, restaurants, waterslides, or a theme park… They just need a puddle. So what if I’m a little wet and their shoes are a little dirty. It reminds me happiness can be found right where I am regardless of the circumstances. That I need to lower my high standards of where joy can be discovered and stop making comparisons so I don’t miss the fun that’s all around me.
It’s easy to think as we age the more sophisticated we are supposed to be. Believing if our preferences aren’t met then we are unable to be satisfied. We are taught preferences are signs of importance and position. That perhaps splashing in a puddle is too simple of an activity to enjoy. Some might call it high standards, but these standards can isolate us from the magic and wonder of life. It makes it extremely difficult to discover joy right where we are, to live life to the fullest.
I challenge you to find joy wherever you are today. To stop comparing your life to someone else’s or how different life could look without the pandemic. Regardless if you are sitting in the front row or the nose bleeds. First class or economy. Unemployed or employed. If your at a theme park or splashing in a puddle. Happiness is waiting for you.