25 December, 2014

Doing What Makes You Happy

Number one perk of celebrating a holiday as a small family of three:
everyone gets a moment to themselves to do whatever makes them most happy.

My husband's been napping now for a few hours, which is quite possibly one of his favorite things to do on any given holiday day. He looks serene and entirely comfortable surrounded by all of those pillows.

My almost-five-year-old daughter spent about an hour carefully following the directions for a wooden doll painting activity that she received as a gift this morning. She was so proud of her creation - and then asked if she could take a rest while her artwork had time to dry.

Me? I took the opportunity to soak in that precious quiet moment. The sun was setting. Candles were glowing. The tree was lit up in a way that made me think of my childhood. The only sounds I could hear were the faint rustlings of a wind chime on our back deck, and the friendly honking of geese enjoying our pond on this warm winter day.

Legs curled under a cozy blanket, perched on the couch with my cup of hot cider, I just... sat.
Sat and listened to the quiet.
Sat and let myself be quieted.
And it was perfect.

My view from the comfy couch on this quiet Christmas Day
And as I sat and listened (to myself) I was reminded of all the things I love to do that stem from moments like these: reading, doing crossword puzzles, playing the piano and, of course, writing.

I felt a quick pang of loss when thinking of this little spot I'd carved out for myself on the World Wide Web almost seven years ago... and how this spot, like a forgotten garden, has gone largely untended for months on end. When I began writing this blog, I wrote a little bit each day. Just like the title stated. Back then, I was basically a single woman living alone in NYC. I hadn't even met my husband yet - and now we have this whole other life together. Different town, new careers, super cool daughter. With that life comes increased adventures, and responsibilities, and demands on our time. And those quiet writing moments that filled my evenings when living alone have now been replaced with family dinners, planning activities, bedtime stories, and preparing for the next busy day.

As I glance back through that first year of my blog (360 posts) and notice the significant drop in the frequency of my writing (until I get to this year's measly 4 posts) I feel a definite loss. A regret for not taking the time to reflect on all the incredible blessings that have come my way since then. I tend to value quality over quantity, but perhaps I'm experiencing a version of the "seven year itch"... maybe I need to get back to that daily writing routine. Need it not for the sake of others, but for my own.

I hear the patter of little feet above me. A familiar sound to stir me from my silent thoughts. My daughter will sneak down the stairs in a few moments and ask, "Whatcha doin' Mama?" She will have a grin on her face. She will probably be hungry. And as I welcome her onto my lap, putting this computer down, I will try to hold on to my own hunger - for writing - while I make her a snack and continue on with our full and fulfilling life.

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