Monday, I had an astonishingly hard day with my kids. It was a truly bad day, the likes of which I haven’t seen or felt in a long, long time.
Yesterday (Wednesday), still reeling from their behavior and processing my own part in the BAD DAY, I decided to plan a little outing, just for fun. Just because we needed a break. We needed some fresh air. We needed some perspective.
We drove to Tractor Supply Company and watched baby chicks and ducklings. We went up the street to buy doughnuts. I loaded everyone back into the van and drove to an empty portion of the grocery store parking lot and parked in a sunny spot. I ate sushi while Bea took a nap and the boys watch a movie.
Later that afternoon, I took Theo to his weekly art class and soaked up some quiet reading time while he cut and painted and crafted shamrocks.
As I was sitting, waiting on Theo, I heard a few moms great each other.
“How are you?” One mom asked the other.
“Surviving,” the other mom replied.
The other mom gravely nodded and rolled her eyes with a sigh.
I don’t want to be hard on these moms because man, I’ve certainly had days where I couldn’t even muster up some good old fashioned fake positivity. But at the same time, even on my hardest of days, I don’t want to just survive. And I certainly don’t want to use the term “surviving” on just your regular old, boring, run-of-the-mill Wednesday.
This week, I had a hard day with my kids. This week, I also had some pretty great moments with my family. The sun came out. My husband got to stay home one day because of snow. I got to eat sushi. I spent a lovely evening doing yoga and catching up with a good friend.
I’m not just surviving.
And neither are you.
The hard days don’t define us, they refine us.
The hard days don’t make you alone, they make you human.
The hard days don’t indicate our weakness, our response indicates our strength.
The hard days don’t devalue our life, we choose to seek the valuable.
The hard days don’t need to be conquered, but relinquished, and the good days – embraced.
I disagree with the phrase, “Don’t just survive, THRIVE!” Thriving and surviving are polar opposites, and I think striving for such an extreme cuts out the beautiful middle. We aren’t just survivors, no, but maybe we should be less concerned with thriving, and more concerned with savoring.
When I think of savoring a meal, I think of slowly working my way through each dish, noticing and enjoying everything that makes them special. That is how I want to go through life. Sure, there might be a few dishes that I don’t enjoy or that catch me off guard, but that doesn’t mean I can’t savor the whole meal – the whole experience.
The hard days are just as much a part of our story as the good days, and to savor the good we must also be able to feel the bad. So feel it, learn from it, but put it in the proper context of your story – and trust me, it’s a good one.
It’s one worth savoring.