Living your best life. What’s keeping you from it, girl?
We hear about it all the time; it’s a trending hashtag, on shirts, baseball caps, and splattered across social media.
This week we’re on a family vacation. Our first one in two and a half years. And here, sitting beneath palm trees, it’s so easy to believe I’m living my best life. And yet stuffy noses, fevers, seriously the worst poopy diapers, tired kiddos and a weird stomach thing reminds us that best doesn’t equal perfect.
I can’t stop thinking about the opportunity we have every day to choose gratitude. This morning I was in the pool with our two year old, watching for the older two to come down the water slide, and I nearly started weeping.
I’m thankful for my children that doctors said I wouldn’t have. I’m thankful for my sweet husband that I know I don’t deserve. I’m thankful for health, for a vacation, for a little bit of rest, for the life we have back at home, for seriously so much, and yet…I nearly started weeping not out of gratitude, but because of the realization that in the midst of busy schedules and hectic weeks, I’d lost sight of all the good.
The day we left, I was in a horrible mood. I was trying to pack last minute because our crazy schedule hadn’t allowed me time to even pull out the suitcase until the morning of our departure. We’re about half-moved into a new house, and I couldn’t find anything. The baby was unpacking the suitcase onto the floor faster than I could pack it, and the big girls were literally running through the house shrieking at the top of their lungs.
In that moment, it felt like anything but my best life. Mama was stressed and grumpy.
And yet, as I thought back to it, there was so much to be thankful for, even in that very stressful moment. I had three beautiful children. We were going on vacation. We had clothes and shoes to pack. We had a beautiful new home that we were getting to move into. And somewhere in the mess of boxes, we had everything we needed and then some. We are so, so blessed.
And yet, we have to make a daily, moment by moment decision about what to focus on. We can focus on the blessings, or we can focus on the imperfections – it doesn’t matter who you are, there will always be both.
Even in that moment in the pool, there were both. The weather was a little cool for swimming. I had just realized the baby had pooped in her diaper (…and if you’ve ever changed a poopy swim diaper, you know what I’m talking about when I say YUCK!), our oldest wasn’t waiting for our middle daughter on the slide and she was crying.
Even in the most perfect moments of our life, we have the opportunity to see the glass as half full or half empty. And I don’t mean just how we post about it on Facebook, but how we actually are in the moment. With our kids, with our husband, with our family and friends.
No matter whether we’re on vacation, or in the midst of hectic day-to-day life, we can choose to be living our best life, or living our worst life, just by how we choose to think about it. We can be our worst self, or our best self, just by the outlook we have.
Living our best life, being our best self…it’s not just a picture-perfect moment, a trending hashtag, or your favorite t-shirt. Living your best life is going to take a daily discipline of gratitude. It’s going to take choosing to focus on the palm trees, sunshine and blessings of children instead of the dirty diapers, tired kids, and the grumpy feelings that are always nearby to raise their ugly heads.
So, whatever imperfections are present in your life today, I hope you can find the courage to focus on the blessings. Because that’s what it’s going to take today and every day to live your best life, and to be remembered by those you love as your best self. I want to be a woman who spreads sunshine, even when skies are gray, who celebrates the good, even while making it through the bad, and who loves big, even when it would be easier to be grumpy.
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