Right now I should be sitting in a hotel conference room with 30 other adults, our chairs in one big circle. My attention would be entirely focused on the instructors and my classmates. Today was the day my second Life Coaching seminar was supposed to start.
Right now I should be sitting at home, waiting to take M to see his surgeon for a pre-op appointment. I called the coaching program two weeks ago to inform them that I’d have to miss the first morning of the seminar so I could be present for this important appointment. They informed me that I’d have to forfeit my spot and come to the next session.
I hesitated a moment and then told them to give my spot to someone on the waiting list. I’m anxious to go through the training, but this surgery, surgery that could potentially change our lives by curing my husband of the condition that has dodged us at every twist and turn for the last four years, was more important.
Right now I should be sitting in the waiting room at the hospital waiting for the surgery to be over, for my husband to be returned to me, neck healed, ready to start the next chapter of our lives. The surgery was moved up because we thought the condition was worsening. Suddenly I was glad that I had given up my spot in the seminar. Glad I could be here where I was most needed, where I most needed to be.
Right now I’m sitting at Starbucks. My children are at school and daycare. My husband is at work. All the plans we’ve made for today – seminar, pre-op appointment, surgery – all canceled, leaving today to be as normal a day as it can possibly be. Except nothing is normal and yet I’m still smiling.
If parenting has taught me one thing it’s that I can’t hold on to plans and routines as rigidly as I used to. The only thing that I’ve been able to count on these last six years is that I can’t count on anything, that I have to let go and go with the flow.
The other thing that parenting has taught me is to look for the glimmer in every moment. Not just the silver lining, but the glimmers of happiness in the middle of the chaos, the tumult, the sadness, the tantrums, the everything that takes up every breathing moment. If you wait for things to settle down to be happy, to enjoy the moment, you’ll be waiting a long time.
I could be sitting here lamenting the fact that my classmates are moving on without me, that my training has been put off for 6 months. I could be sitting here lamenting the fact that M is not in surgery, that he won’t wake up in three hours, neck on its way to being fixed.
Instead I’m choosing happiness. I’m choosing to see the positive side, to focus on the things that bring a smile to my face. My coffee is hot and tastes good. Both my girls went off to school with a smile this morning. The cat was extra cuddly. And the kiss M gave me as he left for work was extra sweet. Tomorrow we’ll go to the beach and watch the rain fall as we huddle under a warm blanket and watch a movie all together. Sunday we’ll watch the sun rise and then we’ll enjoy a warm day on the sand.
Right now I could be focusing on all the ways things are wrong. Instead I’m choosing to focus on all the ways they’re right. I choose happiness, even in the middle of all the uncertainty.