“And what I began to think about is something that I’ve surely known all along but that somehow, in the midst of our small day-to-day crises and preoccupations of the last few years, has been all too easy to forget. Real life isn’t out there in the future somewhere. Real life is not going to begin… when I figure out what to do with myself, or when we’re out of debt, real life is now.“~ Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day.
I found this quote as I was re-reading Kenison’s book this afternoon. How deeply I can relate to those wise words.
My real life will start when I get out of college and get a job. Life will start when we pack up this house and move to the next town to start all over. My life will start again when I am no longer unemployed, when we get married, when we figure out all the tangled finances, when the kids are grown and gone.But, real life means enjoying the here and now- to find little pockets of grace, peace, contentment, and yes, even occasional joy in those heartfelt moments. We have often lamented how much drama has consumed our lives the past few years, but there has been plenty of delightful moments between the crises.
Real life is talking to my son and daughter each day during the drive to and from school. It’s the quiet dinners my husband and I have shared when all of the kids are busy with their lives. Real life is sipping wine in a warm bath after a stressful day, or listening to the kids talk and laugh together over a board game.
Kenison states, “None of this was ever part of the plan, but life so rarely unfolds according to plan. Real life is just where we are, in this moment.”
Our mistake, she points out is that we don’t pause often enough or long enough to realize that even during the chaotic, transitional times these moments are worthy of our attention.