Saturday, May 19, 2007

Real Life vs. The Picture In My Head

I don’t get out much. I say that with nothing but warmth and enthusiasm for the two angel-babies who keep me very much occupied at home. And I say that fully recognizing the power of my own choice to stay home with them instead of keeping them on the go, taking them with me to the shops or any number of Mums and Toddlers groups in the area. Besides getting Jack to nursery school for a couple of hours each afternoon, we keep a simple schedule consisting of unstructured play-time, structured nap-time and lots of reading, singing and snuggling in between snack-times.

So, yeah. We live a 45-minute Tube ride from one of the most famous cities in the world, and I can count on one hand the times I’ve been downtown. But last Saturday we took the kiddos to the London Aquarium, and it was such a great day! Sharks, sting rays, jelly fish, octopuses and all kinds of fish sporting a host of colors to make the people at Crayola drool. What’s not to love? And it was right next to the London Eye and a bunch of fun street performers. And when we looked across the river, I caught my first glimpse of Big Ben! Of course, I wanted a picture to capture the moment.

We usually send out photos where everyone looks a little more (ahem) composed, but I really like this shot. I think it’s because of all the things going on at once -- the bus, the people, the half-hidden landmark, the arms full of children, the heart full of happiness -- kind of like my life right now.

In spite of my best efforts to keep things as simple as possible, each day ends much differently than I pictured it in the morning. At any given moment, I’m caught up in a variety of tasks, conversations and mental Notes To Self, all the while feeling like I’m forgetting something. At no point in time is anything ever all the way done, perfectly arranged or simultaneously clean. And as much as I love order, crave perfection and dream of a completing everything on my To Do List so I can go in my room and close the door for the weekend, none of these things is going to happen anytime soon. So I give up, give in and decide to make the most of whatever is happening right now. Because, in spite of myself, the chaos really is fun!

Is there a twelve-step program for recovering introverted, perfectionistic, self-absorbed control freaks?

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Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day. (Henri Nouwen)

I have told you these things so that you will be filled with My joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is My commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. (John 15:11-12 NLT)


Unknown said...

I agree...I love the photo of the 'candid' moment. It speaks volumes of how it must be with you. well, you caught me, i am a faithful reader and look forward to such posts as these. your life seems as beautiful as i always thought you deserved...thanks for the years of waiting to get to these those we got to experience your deep and selfless love for us (especially the girls in your caring community). I can't imagine how incredibly loved your two angels must feel. --Kelly

Anonymous said...

I love this picture and this post, Laura! I know just how challenging it is for you to give up and give in and have fun in spite of the chaos but it's the only way to enjoy the moment with those babes. Love to you all!

Anonymous said...

If you find such a program, let me know...I think I'll join too!!
Love you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura! I love that you are doing a blog and I can keep up with your family this way. I really enjoyed the photo in front of Big Ben too. So, if there is some twelve-step program for recovering introverted, perfectionistic, self-absorbed control freaks like myself, please let me know...I desperately need help! Love you bunches...Monica