It sometimes takes just a moment to put everything back into perspective. Just a moment to calm you. Just a moment to help you to realize what you want out of life. Just a moment to make you realize that your problems are so so small compared to the big picture. Just a moment to make you realize what is actually important. Just a moment to breathe.
I snuck outside each morning that we were at the cottage to watch the sun come up. I passed the baby over to Terry and tiptoed out to the dock before the two other little people saw me. Alone. Quiet. Peaceful.
I stood there in awe of the beauty right in front of me. The calm water that surrounded me that seemed to go on forever. The way that the sun moved so slowly, creeping up from the horizon, rising into the clouds.
The way that the clouds changed from one beautiful scene to the next, in only a matter of moments. So if you looked away for even a second, the whole sky could change.
And if you sat so still, looking out onto this beautiful scene, you could hear the soft crashing of the waves on shore and the cries of birds flying over the lake.
There's something magical about mornings at a cottage and I didn't want to miss it. So I left each morning on my own and took myself to the edge of the dock and just breathed, by myself--something that motherhood doesn't allow much time for.
I loved watching the clouds especially. Because as I stood there watching those clouds change from one stunning scene to another in such a short period of time it was breathtaking. Literally the entire sky completely changed in a matter of minutes...which I realized, as I stood there, is so similar to the seasons that we go through in life. The hard times...the trying times. If we just wait a bit--just be patient, ride it out, breathe, stay calm in the midst of the chaos or hardships that sneak into our days, it will pass. The sky will change. The clouds will part. The sun will rise. A new day will break. A fresh start will be given to us.
The sky can teach us so much about living our best life. And I needed a reminder.
Because sometimes some days can just be plain hard.
I still remember when Sophia was about 4-6 weeks old and I started feeling feelings that I had never experienced before with either of my other babies. Was this the baby blues that I had always heard of? I'm still not sure. But thankfully it has passed. I remember I just felt overwhelmed, exhausted, like I couldn't keep up with life, couldn't keep up with friendships, couldn't keep up with myself, couldn't keep up with my expectations of myself as a mom, as a wife....as a human being.
My expectations, now in perspective, were just plain unrealistic. I still remember putting together Terry's birthday with a newborn in my arms and a 2 and 4yr old at my feet--because I should be able to do this...so I thought.
So balloons were hung, hand made signs were made, presents were bought and wrapped, groceries were bought, and a big, beautiful dinner was to be put on the table--complete with a homemade birthday cake (along with a mass amount of homemade treats, chocolate dipped Oreos and cookies that I made for him to bring into his work to share with his co-workers for his birthday, of course)...because I can do it all. Right.
Well, not exactly.
Because the balloons were waiting, signs were ready to greet him when he got home from work that day--and burnt cookies sat on the counter, burnt potatoes and steak were on the bbq outside, the cake was half baked and I stood there not even showered, trying to clean up toddler pee off my floor while nursing a crying baby and trying to get a snack for my hungry girl who just got home from school.
Because a baby's cry, toddler accidents and 4yr olds needs come before pulling cookies out of the oven on time.
I tried. I told him.
Tears in my eyes.
My mom was standing there beside me with store bought cookies in her arms to save the day--because when the ship is going down, moms are usually the best ones to call.
You have a NEWBORN baby, Erica. You have three kids now. She said. You can't expect that you can do it all. Cut yourself some slack.
And Terry nodded and hugged me.
Cut yourself some slack.
The hard days won't last forever. Those challenging seasons of life will not always be there. The sky will change. The clouds will part. The sun will rise. Just breathe, be still and wait. And enjoy the good stuff that always flies around right in the midst of the storm. Because no matter what, the sky will always change.
So I started each day at the cottage with good perspective on life. The clouds and sky reminded me. The waves crashing on the shore calmed me. My unrealistic expectations were put into check.
The happy kids playing for hours in the sand and water made me smile.
And this sweet little girl was my constant reminder of how much love you can have for such a tiny human being.
So Grandma and Terry braved the wavy water with the kids on the windy days...
and I marveled at the beauty of the calm water just the very next morning and how quickly it could change from rough to calm water in just one night.
Thanks Judy and Fred for such a magical, wonderful time at your cottage. If we all just had a beach, water and a dock to wake up to each morning, I think our world would be a better place.
Thanks for the good perspective.