One day last week, I'd had enough. Stresses that had been building over the past month as well as putting on a major event had simply worn me out. I had been burning the candle at both ends and trying to be all things to all people and I needed a break. So, I took what I called a "mental health day" and basically laid on a blanket in the back yard. I watched the clouds passing by overhead and reveled in the gorgeous blue color of the sky. I soaked in the warm rays of sunshine and rolled over to find the most delicate of flowers disguised as a weed. No bigger than a pencil eraser, this yellow beauty lay hidden among the blades of grass partially trampled as I picked the perfect spot.... and it was only after close observation that I even noticed it. I made note of its tiny, delicate petals and how perfectly formed it was. I marveled that had I not made a point to take a "time out", go outside, lay on a blanket and stare at the ground...I would have never discovered this perfectly perfect little bloom.
What a metaphor for every day life. What beautiful things are right under our nose--largely unnoticed due to our "busyness" or our failure to simply look for them? Yes, the little yellow bloom I found was indeed "just" a weed. But it was beautiful and a much-needed reminder that focusing on even the most minute, seemingly unimportant details can bring things into perspective.
I also found contentment this evening in the most simple of acts. And that act was cooking dinner. I picked up the boys from school and had NO desire to go get groceries. However, not only did I buy groceries, I bought enough to last a couple weeks. And after putting them away, I put in a load of laundry and began cooking dinner. The boys were outside and Keith was cutting the lawn and I found it. Contentment. I lit the candles in my kitchen and living room and soaked in the simple pleasure of having enough. Enough money to buy the groceries I needed (and many I didn't!), enough time to pick up the boys from school and take them with me on my excursion, enough determination to clean the house before we left for Easter so I could have a peaceful start to our week... and enough insight to appreciate the simplicity of an uneventful, regular ol' evening of doing things for my family.
Needless to say, I'm happy I made a conscious decision to look for contentment lately and am always amazed and when, and how, I find it. One thing's for sure--whether it's in the unappreciated beauty of a miniscule flower or the sizzling of onions in a skillet on my stove...I'll be looking at my life a little differently from now on.