How do you hold on to awesome?

sangriaIt’s Friday and I’m off early. After a long couple of marathon months I find myself sitting at my favorite Mexican restaurant, alone, on a perfect sunny day sipping (gulping?) my second glass of sangria while munching on chips and salsa. I’ve cleared a few recent hurdles- out of town trips, high stakes board meetings, new program launches, and I’ve found myself in a brief moment to just stop and eat and rest.  If you want to know the way to my heart- it’s a taco salad and red wine soaked fruit in a fancy glass- every. single. time.

As I sit and trace the beautiful puffy clouds, I’m back and forth checking my Facebook feed… which is chock full of memories from years past and photos posted from Emma’s first birthday party last week. There is so much beauty and joy and life in these photos- yet, at the time I was so focused on stuff I needed to “do” or what was coming next, or making sure peoples needs were met, I didn’t see it shining so brightly like the sun in the middle of my life. I intentionally try to focus on the awesome every day, but it’s hard to hold on to. I long to increase my capacity to just hold awesome. To give it a big bear hug and not let go.

If you’ve read my book you know my family experienced a fairly difficult decade in our 20’s that had a traumatic impact on our mental health. One of the consequences of this is that, even though life is better and safer now, I can’t forget how hard it can be. I still worry about life turning hard again, and the awesome moments only exacerbate that- making me want to double down and protect what I have that’s good.

But life is not about controlling awesome, it’s about being grateful when it comes. I can’t make everything go smoothly for my family for the rest of our lives (I wish I could). But I can see the awesome and appreciate it, letting it linger. I can hold my sweet baby a few minutes longer and forego bath-time tonight. I can let the weeds grow knowing that a walk to the park after school is time better spent. I can leave work early and take time to exercise, because my health matters. I can be human and finite and limited and still choose awesome.

And like the magnet says that hangs on my refrigerator…

Anyone can be good, but awesome takes practice.

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