I really wish this post was about how wonderfully fit I have become and how flexible and strong I now am. Unfortunately, that is not the topic. Today I am writing about life flexibility.
We live in a 2 story house. The top of the stairs open into a loft area which acts as our playroom. My office door leads directly out into that loft. I often finish up my work day after the girls are home from school and my youngest is occupying herself with her dolls. I have been privy to doll conversations and serenades of Selena Gomez songs. Tonight I am sitting in here listening to both of my girls and the little girl from across the street who is here for a sleep over.
This afternoon as I finished up work I had no idea that Dove would be riding to Brownies with us. Her mom sent me a text asking if I would mind. I did not mind at all – I was honored that she would trust her daughter with me. During some free-time during the meeting my oldest and Dove came up to me arm in arm and asked if they could have a sleep over – at our house. My immediate response was “sure”. Phone calls to Mr and Mrs Bird were made and arrangements were finalized. Driving home, listening to them alternately whisper to each other and belt out “Morning Report” I contemplated how my evening went from minimal plans to an extra person sleeping over.
I thought back to my childhood. Sleep overs were not something that I ever really did. I honestly did not have very many friends until I was in 4th grade. I am not sure I had even been to a sleep over at someone’s house that was not a relative until I was in 5th grade. I never felt that I could just ask someone to come over at the drop of a hat. I am not sure if that was my personal insecurity or if I was picking up something from my parents. Either way, doing something spontaneous like that was not something that seemed welcome in my family. In my parents’ defense, my father worked shift work since he was a police officer – so our family time was governed by his schedule. It was not like he had every evening off, so we made the most of the ones he did have off by spending the time together. It was precious. But I learned something that I don’t think my parents intended for me to learn. Family time was not to be intruded upon by “outsiders”. If they were not from the family (I have a massively large extended family), they were not to be relied on. As an only kid, that made for some lonely times because I did not develop a strong social network until I was much older. That leads to the question is my social awkwardness and shyness a result of not having lots of social interaction as a child, or did I not have those interactions because I was socially awkward and shy? But I digress – that is a topic best left for another day. I did not perceive my parents as being very flexible, able to roll with the punches of a changing schedule. Maybe they had enough of a changing schedule with dad’s work. Maybe it was just how they were. (I will say that they are MUCH more flexible now that I ever remember as a child!)
But that leads me to the person I am today and the person I am trying to become. The interesting part of becoming more comfortable with myself and establishing more routines and organization is that I feel freer to deviate from those very routines. I find that I am more flexible because I am willing to embrace the moment. Embracing simplicity in my life is allowing me to concentrate on other things. I am not as encumbered with all the things that are not getting done. I am not drowning in and being overwhelmed by all the undone things around the house. Dove does not care that the floors are not mopped, that the carpets were not vacuumed this afternoon, or that I don’t have a gourmet breakfast planned. My girls are not paralyzed by what Dove thinks of our house. They just enjoy being together. And I am so happy to be able to give them that time.
So tonight I am smiling as I listen to the girls giggling right outside my door. When I post this I will go make sure they are tucked into their sleeping bags and encourage them to go to sleep, knowing full well that it will take a long time for the whispers and giggles to quiet into the deep breathing of slumber. I am so thankful that I have been given this moment in time. I am grateful that I have learned to be flexible and embrace the special moments when they come. I am grateful that I have chosen to set out on this journey of discovery – about myself and about the perfect gifts that can be found along the way.