They say that in life, it’s the little things that count.
It’s also those little things that we too often ignore or overlook because we say we think we’re too busy, or that there are more important things to do.
Like many of us, I find myself constantly striving to find the right balance between a full-time work schedule, parenting, and having a home life. Not to mention all of life’s other commitments. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for activities like just relaxing — taking the time to unwind and just enjoy the moment. It’s an important life lesson that we should all be reminded of, and one that my daughter taught me just the other day.
Recently, I had picked up my daughter from daycare and was fighting traffic to get home. I was tired, I was hungry, and I was definitely not in the mood for fellow commuters who, in my opinion at least, were driving too fast, or too slow, or wouldn’t let me in the lane I needed. I had the radio on a station I didn’t really care for as a song played that I had never heard before. But I was too busy trying to control my rush-hour blood pressure to bother changing it.
And then, from her car seat in the back, my two-year old daughter Hope said, "Mommy, off!"
Rather than have to deal with a possible toddler meltdown, I did what she asked. I turned the radio off.
And then — sweet, but as out-of-tune as her mommy — Hope started singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. She sang it with such carefree joy that I couldn’t help but smile. And then it hit me: This is one of those moments.
And so I decided to ignore the traffic irritations around me, to forget that supper still had to be made and that the laundry was still not done. I stopped thinking about everything that happened at work that day and what I still faced tomorrow.
And I sang along with Hope.
Since that day, I’ve started making the conscious decision to look for these little moments, especially with my family. I’ve started to take the time to not just watch my daughter dance, but to hold her hands and dance along with her. Spaghetti in the hair became a photo opportunity, not just a mess to clean up. Chores can be fun and adventurous games when you have a two-year-old helper.
I’m constantly reminded that life is short. So the next time I find myself stressed out and feel like I’m being pulled in a million directions, I just need to remember: Everything is better when you just sing along with Hope.