Your Life is an Occasion

For the past few days, I’ve felt like I’ve been in a bit of a slump.  I couldn’t seem to pinpoint it’s origin until a few moments ago.  I think what it comes down to is that I’m bored with the wash, rinse, repeat cycle of life right now.  Are you familiar with this cycle?  Of course you are, especially if you’re a parent.  I know I’m not alone because I saw a meme just today that read, “Do you want to know what it’s like to have kids? 1. Gather everything you own.  2. Throw it all on the floor.  3. Pick it up. 4. Repeat for infinity.”  I’m not sure what’s exacerbating the issue, as it’s not like I’m a new stay-at-home-mom.  Perhaps the combination of increased time indoors due to colder temps, or the stage of my six-month-old’s eating habits (feeding baby mush gets tiring), or the fact that my to-do list seems to be never-ending (even worse, at times, never-starting)?  I can’t say that I know for sure, but the only thing that’s going to change it is my attitude, which brings me to Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.

Have you seen Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium?  I don’t understand why the film has such a low rating?  As far as kids movies go, it’s quite endearing.  I only recently had the opportunity to watch it.  I don’t know how I’ve managed to not see it until now, as it’s been out for almost 10 years.  I wish I could say it’s because my children hardly watch TV, but that’s hardly the case.  I digress.  The movie has a line that struck both my eight-year-old daughter and I as powerful.  In the scene, Dustin Hoffman, who plays Mr. Magorium, is saying farewell to his assistant, played by Natalie Portman.  In his final goodbye he tells her, “Your life is an occasion.  Rise to it.”  And so it is.


I need to rise to it.  I need to make my life more than wash, rinse, repeat.  Don’t get me wrong, I get that life is made up of such things.  But the only way it’s going to be more than that is if I rise up and do something more.  Then the question remains, “How?”  How does one rise to the occasion?  If we take an actual occasion, such as a birthday, then we get ourselves spiffy,we eat our favorite foods, we spend time with loved ones, and, if we’re hosting a shin-dig, we pull out our coordinating paper plates and napkins.  Not gonna happen.  My daily life is going to have to be a different type of occasion.

I’ve pondered much on what I’m seeming to miss these past few days.  I thought if I turned the word “rise” into an acronym it might help me in the future, should I start to slip into the doldrums again.  So, here it goes, my best guess at what I need to make my life an occasion, or rather, make the most of each day: R – recommit; I – initiate; S – savor; E – evaluate.

Recommit
This is the biggest one for me right now.  I’m sort of floundering lately.  I need to recommit myself to productivity.  For example, right now I have things around the house that have been sitting on my To-Do list for so long that I’ve stopped taking them seriously.  I look at the list, rationalize why now isn’t the best time to do such a task, and return to my mindless social media scrolling.  The killer is that even though I think I’ve escaped the chore, the weight of not doing it is so heavy that it’s taken away from the joy I could be feeling had I accomplished the task.  You may be thinking, “but aren’t chores a part of the wash, rinse, repeat cycle?”  They are, you’re right.  But maybe if I recommitted to their value in my life and adjusted my attitude, then I could escape the feeling of captivity that I’ve been associating with the endless cycle?  My baby step on this item is to recommit by doing 15 minutes of an activity today that I’ve been putting off from my list.  My hope is that I will feel better for having accomplished something beyond knowing what a random person “liked” on Facebook today.  I chose a 15 minute increment because my Mom used to say to me, “I can do anything for a short amount of time.”

Initiate
This one might be different for everyone.  When I think initiate, I think of an activity that is most therapeutic for me, which is spending time with loved ones.  Others may need to initiate an outdoor activity or a workout into their day.  I admit, I should probably initiate more of those activities as well.  However, I personally benefit most from the relationships in my life.  I feel edified after spending time with my loved ones as we talk about matters of everyday life.  That’s what I need to initiate.  A text, an e-mail, a phone call; these things initiate opportunities to strengthen my relationships; which I deem as one of my highest priorities.

Savor
When I think of savoring something, I imagine having to slow down to do so.  So, the S in R.I.S.E. may be interchanged with slow down, if you so choose.  I did look up the word though and there is no connection with savoring requiring time to be fully accomplished.  In fact, my favorite definition for the word was, “to give oneself to the enjoyment of.”  We could stop with the letter S and call ourselves good.  That is what I need right now.  I need to give myself to the enjoyment of life.  Prior to looking up the word though, I intended for this to be a reminder that I need to slow down and take in the beauty I do have before me.  I can choose to focus on all the dishes in my sink that I will have to wash all over again tomorrow or I can savor the moment that my boys play on the floor together or my girls come in the door from school giggling about their days events.  Granted the floor playing isn’t always peaceful and my girls sometimes come in the door distraught from their day, but inevitably there are a couple moments each day that, if the appropriate background music could be added, would be suitable for the last couple minutes of Parenthood when life seems to be savored more fully and everything seems right in the world.

::COMMERCIAL BREAK:: Speaking of Parenthood, I certainly took the time to savor their series finale last night.  It was so good.  I’m going to miss that show so much.  I almost didn’t want to start the series finale because I knew it would come to and end and I wasn’t ready.  It reminded me of when I’m reading a good book and I can’t put it down, but I try to slow down my reading just to prevent it from ending.  ::BACK TO YOUR REGULAR PROGRAMMING::

Evaluate
When all is said and done, evaluating is key.  I knew something was afoot with me all week.  Moments of anxiety were happening for no particular reason and I just seemed to have a bit of a cloud over me.  I’m still not sure I know exactly what triggered the feelings, but I’ve never been afraid to evaluate my situation to find out.  I like playing devil’s advocate with myself.  I tend to learn a lot of “not-so-pretty” motivations behind my actions and behavior sometimes, but I think it’s important to face the “not-so-pretty” in an effort to make one’s life something more.  The sooner you can understand yourself, the sooner you can begin to fix the kinks you may be facing at the time.  I’ve learned that my comfortableness in evaluating myself is a strength that has brought me great peace.  It’s been so valuable that it’s one of the motivating factors behind this blog.  As we evaluate our personal needs and desires, we can begin moving forward in obtaining them in a healthy manner.

So, today is a new day.  Wish me luck, as I R.I.S.E. to the glorious occasion that is my life.

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