Reflection, Stay-At-Home-Motherhood, Thoughts On...

I’m Too Tired to Seize the Day Every Day

I’ve been thinking a bit lately about what it means to live life to the fullest, to “carp the deem,” if you will.

On the surface, the adage that tells us to “seize the day” has been interpreted as being a sort of early front-runner of sayings like YOLO (“you only live once,” for those who are late to the game) or Mary Oliver’s “Tell me, what is it you plan to do/ with your one wild and precious life?”

And if you live your whole life truly trying to “seize the day” with those kinds of mentalities in the back of your mind, you definitely will have tons of pretty amazing experiences to recount, but, quite frankly, you’ll probably be pretty exhausted, too.

So I’ve chosen a different motto to live my life by—

To everything, there is a season.

A time to play,

And a time to rest.

A time to explore,

And a time to refrain from exploring.

A time to eat handfuls of chocolate,

And a time to abstain from eating handfuls of chocolate (and maybe just keeping it to a Hershey kiss or two).

To everything, there is a season.

I am acutely aware that I live a blessed life and that this overall season in my life right now is a particularly sweet one.

Most days, I wake up with minimal set-in-stone “must-do’s” and have a whole day in front of me to spend as I will.

I only have one child to care for (rather than, say, three or seven or fourteen), and on most days, that one child is a pretty easy person to get along with.

Because we have chosen to “live small” for now and rent a modest apartment and not go out to eat very much and watch our budget, I don’t have to worry about working to try and bring in a second income.

I fully realize that I, more than many, have a life that should make it fairly easy to “seize the day,” every day.

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely wholeheartedly embrace the idea of taking advantage of the situation we’re in—

Toddler’s fussy, and the sun is bright and the leaves golden outside?
Take a long walk to one of the three parks within a mile of our apartment.

Home in Bountiful visiting family for the weekend?
Take advantage of coupon deals and doting grandparents and take an unplanned trip to Tracy Aviary (aka, what all of these pictures are of).

And I’ve mentioned before that I’m striving hard to make it so that Raven has an “enrichment” activity each day to look forward to, whether it be helping me bake a treat or going on a hike or walking “like a big girl” (rather than riding in the cart) through a local store.

And I am SO glad that I have this goal–

It means that almost every day, there is an activity for us BOTH to look forward to, something worthy of getting out of bed for, something worth bringing out the big camera for.

But lest you get the idea that it’s all parks and muffin-making and trips to the local amusement park/aquarium/aviary over here, let me just say that some days, Raven’s “enrichment” is going outside and sitting in the dirt outside of our apartment and picking up pinecones to send down the stream behind our apartment complex. Some days, her “enrichment” involves me plopping her down to plunk out some strange melody on the piano while I hole myself up in the corner and play Candy Crush for ten minutes.

Some days, in other words, I have no excuse NOT to go to the park or to a free event, other than that I’m tired and grumpy and just in need of some freaking down time.

And for a long time, I felt kind of guilty for having days like those. After all, I knew what it was like to NOT have so much time to spend like this—at home, with an unscheduled day ahead, with my baby girl. I knew what it was like to work full-time and come home exhausted but still determined to at least spend some quality time with those I love, and on those much fuller days, I still managed to pull off some pretty great memories.

So I figured that now, I should never have any excuse not to be seizing every stinkin’ moment.

Then I have days like yesterday, where Raven spilled an entire bowl of taco soup–face down–onto our carpet, and then followed it up by screaming her head off for 30 minutes because I had to bring out her mortal enemy (aka, the vacuum) to clean up the mess. Later, she did the same thing with her milk (twice), and then she proceeded to cling to my legs and cry and cry the entire time I was trying to make dinner.

So I plopped her in front of Big Hero 6 (you know it’s bad if I’m resorting to the t.v. since she usually goes about a week or two between watching anything), and I tried not to freak out as I smelled a distinct burned smell coming from the stove…


To everything, there is a season.

Many of my days are beautiful, filled with long hours in the golden sunlight and many an afternoon spent snuggled up on the couch reading endless board books.

But it’s unrealistic to expect all my days to be like that, to think that every day is one that can be seized for pleasure and fun alone and not for the more mundane words of duty and responsibility or for the harsher realities of stress and loneliness and frustrations that wear your patience out to its thinnest line.

So I’m just learning to try and take it all and be grateful for it, the trips to the aviary along with the spilled taco soup.

After all, you can only have “wild and precious” if you fully understand its counterpart of “mundane and commonplace.”

Anyway, this is all to say that today I woke up with an aching body (curse you and bless you, hip hop aerobics!), a solid headache that’s been in place for about four days straight now, and the ability to put off my chocolate and caffeine consumption for only so long.

To everything there is a season.


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