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Slow down and enjoy the moment.

Most would agree that being a parent is tough. Every day is a new challenge, a new adventure, a new skill, problem behavior or new accomplishment. Some days include all of these. A great friend of mine said parenting is tough because "the days are long but the years are short" nothing has ever been truer. I find myself counting down the minutes to bedtime so I can get a moment to do work but once we get to that time I'm so tired I get nothing done, including quality time with my family. 

While driving in the car with my (almost) four-year-old to preschool he said: "momma, we need to get a better house". After a few questions, I discovered that he wanted a bigger house, one with a playroom and other amenities that we do not have, nor could afford on a two teacher salary household. I wanted to agree with him as I too would love to have a new fancy house but as many of our conversations go I paused to think about my reply and he changed the subject to something else.  I knew he would mention it again and I relentlessly continued to prepare my response. It is one that even surprises me and has become a way to help me keep perspective. 

Two days after the initial conversation I picked up my son from preschool and again he mentioned that his friend has a large house with stairs, a playroom, and multiple bathrooms. I explained that while we might not have everything we want we certainly have everything we need. This did not satisfy the weight of four-year-old peer pressure and as he mentioned each item in our house that needed to be updated we talked about how much fun it will be to fix it together, as a family. 
The nail holes in our baseboards need to be covered and we have a weird gap between the floor and baseboard. 

Our dining room desperately needs new paint!

These are just a few minor items, we also have dog-destroyed floors, oddly shaped kitchen cabinets with no organizational strategy and two bathrooms from the 1980s. How easy it would be to sell our house for a turn-key home in a new neighborhood down the street but give it a few years and it will need updates and love too. I wonder if we, as a society, toss items too quickly just to replace them with something new. 

I'm excited about our home more than I have ever been. We get to love it and all of its character while making sweet memories instead of rushing to the next new thing. Our son and daughter can help us take care of our home and learn how difficult yet rewarding it can be to own our home. 

If we took this mindset and used it for other things in our lives how much more enjoyable would those tasks be? Our weight loss goal? Our financial goal? Our career goal?  

January is a time of fresh starts and new beginnings. Let your new beginning be to enjoy the ride. Whatever your goals are for 2018 slow down and enjoy the process. 


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