I saw something written the other day about how "life" is what happens while we're waiting for life to begin. I've seen variations on this before, about how we define "life" as "once we have a house of our own", or "when we pay off all our debt", or "once we're married/have kids/get 'real' jobs/etc". Really, though, life is what's happening right now, while we're sitting at the computer, folding endless loads of laundry, playing with our kids, running errands, cooking dinner.
Maybe it doesn't feel exciting. Maybe you're not very good at it (right here!) or you don't enjoy it as much as you feel like you should. Maybe it always seems like there's something you can change or should change. Maybe you're in the midst of a really difficult situation. Either way, day after day, life goes on.
I struggle with discontentment, big-time. I like to think that's because I'm an optimistic person - I try to see the positive side of everything. That translates to seeing the possibility for perfection in everything, however. I find myself constantly repeating something to the effect of "if we just had this/did this/changed this, it would be perfect!" Becoming a mom tempered my discontentment a good bit, because I am frequently too tired to do anything about something that's not to my liking. I settle for "good enough" a lot more than I used to. That's a step in the right direction, I figure. See? "Good enough", right there!
That sense of "good enough" could stand to creep into my definition of life. I find myself constantly looking ahead to the next step, thinking about how we'll barbecue in the backyard this summer, or how we'll celebrate Emily and Erin's first birthday. I find myself ignoring the next day or two in favor of making plans for a few weeks or months from now. Hmmm..."life is what happens while you're busy planning it", anyone?
Over the last few weeks, I've made a point of stopping and really thinking about each day, and trying to consider it from beginning to end. I don't just want life to happen to us, I want us to do the happening. We may be living in a season where life "lives" us a bit more than would be ideal, but it doesn't mean I can't take off my perfection goggles for a moment and start seeing the positive in our life right now.