On a recent evening, as I was 4 minutes from finishing a choir rehearsal, I peeked down at my phone and noticed a text had come from my husband: “Please come home soon. Thank u.” I knew that meant something was awry with our baby girl. So I scooped up my belongings and ran out, calling home the moment I left the building.
In a soft, near-whisper, my husband explained that our daughter had wailed at a volume, pitch and length he’d never heard. Of course, just before I called, she finally fell asleep in his arms. After a long day of work, he had spent his evening trying to soothe our daughter. Dinner had been ordered, but when it arrived, he was concerned that if he moved the baby might wake and return to her previous state of distress, so he never answered the door. I returned to my sweet, exhausted, hungry husband.
It got me thinking of countless times in life when I felt worn to my wits end when relief finally arrived. Sometimes I brought on the shift myself, sometimes I had no control over the situation, but the ancient Sufi wisdom seems pertinent in life so often: “this too shall pass away.”
This weekend the 2nd Women’s March takes place all over the United States and the world. After countless years of women being treated as second class citizens, a giant wave is rising that has united people to feel empowered to finally bring a new shift. Voting rights were a start. Laws about equal employment opportunities brought another new start. #MeToo and the culture shift coming from it is not just visible, but tangible. Even those with intellectual disabilities are getting to tell their stories and finally be heard and believed. All the world’s ills are not going to be fixed in one big sweep, but on a huge scale, it seems long-held cultural norms are changing.
With this in mind, I look down at my precious baby every day and feel optimistic about the world she will grow up in. I remind myself to not worry about a hundred other good things I could, but choose to not do right now. There have been and in the future will be plenty of opportunities to focus more heavily on my career and have a cleaner house. The stage to nourish my baby from my own body, snuggle her for hours and cover her in hundreds of kisses is short lived, so I am taking full advantage.
I remind myself the time for countless hugs and kisses is limited, so too is the length of every melt down and other trying stage we encounter. Each moment passes, the painful and the precious. So I embrace the joy and take deep breaths with a mind focused on movement when times seem harder than I have the strength to get through. And life goes on.
What is hard right now?
How can you create movement through it?
What experiences do you want to truly embrace in your life right now?