My family likes to party. Like really party. We live all over the country and are separated by distance, and yet we see each other on a semi-regular basis. We like each other, despite our quirks and differences, and when we get together the good wine comes out, meals are planned and special, a coffee bar is set up, a comfortable space to rest prepared. We stay up late talking, playing ridiculous games or watching old movies that make us feel nostalgic. We have a blast; I always look forward to these gatherings, although I’m pretty much guaranteed to return from them needing a good three-day nap.
I love these events.
The other morning the house was oddly quiet. The baby slept in later than normal and Little Man was engrossed in his newest Lego build. The grass outside was wet with rain and the sky dark with clouds. It felt familiar, but special. I stood looking at my espresso maker and vacillated over preparing myself a latte. I stopped myself.
“She’ll just wake up the moment you make it, and then by the time you get her settled it will be cold.”
How silly, I almost spent the whole time I calculated I had before the baby woke arguing myself out of making a latte. I was feeling a little cranky. I’d love to say that I’m a morning person, I used to be, but in this season I’m more of a “I’d like to stay in bed and sleep all the time person.” As I stood arguing I was struck by epiphany.
What if I allowed this quiet to be special? To be an event?
I began steaming the milk. The espresso began to drip and I attempted, but failed at adding a little espresso art to the milk. It was special nonetheless.
I’ve been in the active process of Komari’ing my personal possessions. An effort to organize and truly assess my belongings. I recently tackled my closet, and when I was done I was left with things that made me feel special, happy. Getting dressed is more of an event.
What if, I thought, I allowed it all to be an event. The call to my grandmother, a special event, where stories would be traded and shared. The folding of my husbands tee-shirts, a special event, one in which I could think about my love for him and pray over him. The mundane washing of dishes, what if I spent more time being grateful for the food we are able to eat, the warm and clean water spilling over my hands than the resentment I feel for having to clean up.
I remember hearing a story once about a woman who had purchased a special nighty, she was saving it for a special evening with her husband. Before she could use it she was killed in an accident. Only later did her husband find it. Something special saved and never used, because daily life just isn’t special enough.
What if tonight, and every night/day, was that special night? What if I met each day with a sense of whimsy and joy? What if I were just a little bit more thankful? How would I be transformed? How would this attitude change my family life and relationships? If I approached each day like I do those family parties how much more joyful would I be?
I have this stack of cards. Whenever I’m out and see a card that makes me thing of my husband I grab it, they’ve been piling up over the months and years. I always seem to have more cards than I do events to give them. What if I chose this day to celebrate him, our marriage, life? How would it change my marriage?
I have a sense of entitlement, I think most people in the first world do. We expect things and this sense of expectation robs us of our joy, it minimizes the beauty in the little, but life is made up of the little. The little beauties can be the main event.
If we let them…