A couple of nights ago I was perusing Instagram and came across a friend’s business. It’s creative and artistic and growing . . . like you guys, it’s REALLY growing. And in one breath, I was amazed at what they’ve been able to do with their young lives. And in the next breath, I felt a tinge of envy. Back in my teens and 20s, I guess I envisioned 36 differently, if I am really honest.
. . . maybe a little more “successful.”
. . . a little glitzier.
. . . a little more romantic, maybe adventurous.
. . . a little New York-ier, a lot less suburban.
I called out to my husband in the other room, getting ready for bed. “You know, when I look at this, I feel just a little bit,”
“Jealous,” he finished my sentence.
And we went to sleep.
The next morning, the pastor at my church asked us to name a bunch of world leaders by the year they were in power. I didn’t know a single one of them. (Of course, my husband did, because he’s a smarty pants.)
Then he gave us quotes. One from Jesus, one from Ghandi, one from Rosa Parks. And they were no brainers. Of course . . . all three. Everybody knew the answers. Humble backgrounds, humbles lives, world changers.
And you know what, there’s nothing wrong with the big dreams I used to dream, and still do dream. And there’s nothing wrong with the big dreams people are living out. There is nothing wrong with extraordinary. Because without it, we wouldn’t have beautiful music, or new technology, or thought provoking literature and film. There is nothing wrong with a photograph that takes your breath away, or pro sports, or comedians. There’s nothing wrong with “success.”
Sometimes in comparison though, I feel like the season I’m in is not successful. It sometimes feels like I’m not doing anything. It feels slow. Mundane. Unimportant.
But that’s a lie. The ordinary is just as noble. It IS important. It IS successful: The peanut butter bread, and folding little diapers, and holding little hands, and marveling at little feet.
And even though it feels mundane, the world is often changed through simplicity, through relationships, through kindness, through just one person impacting another person.
Mama – we are doing important work. Let us not forget.
We are raising little people. And in so doing, we are impacting the world.
The job of mom is the most influential job there is. No one helps to shape little minds more than we do. No one teaches truth to our kids like we do. No one can love them as we do. No one can kiss away tears and envelop them in hugs as we do. No one loves their artwork as much as we do.
We are the loudest voice in their ear. The voice that tells them they are smart, and beautiful, and worth something. The voice they believe the most. WE are that. No one else.
There is time for all of our big dreams. There’s time to be creative. There’s time to see the world . . . but right now . . . it’s a time for flip flops and yoga pants and dance parties to Zumba youtube videos in the playroom. It’s time to use my hard earned theatre degree to make my kids giggle their faces off at B.J. Novak’s new book.
This season of slow is quick . . . and while, it’s not always enjoyable, (and that’s ok to say that!) it is IMPORTANT.
And if my life comes to an end before I accomplished all I’d dreamed of, I do want to be sure of this one thing: That I loved my people well, my kids, my husband, my family, my city.