A must-do before you approach the to-do

Yesterday I sat at the library gazing through a rectangular piece of pink glass as my preschooler exclaimed “Don’t take your goggles off! You have to keep them on all day!”, and I tried to keep a watchful eye of my 15 month old crawling danger lushly close to the fire extinguisher hanging on the wall. I kept removing the glass from my eyes to get a clearer view of him, frustrating my preschooler and the game he was trying to play with me as he stared through his green “goggles”.

Rose-coloured glasses. That was all I could think of. For every time I placed the pink glass in front of my eyes a smile erupted on my face. Partly because of the silliness of the game but also it was a little fun to see the whole world pink around me. And the glee my preschooler was experiencing was contagious. Rose-coloured glasses. It’s a powerful concept. How the exact same setting can look bleak or exciting depending on one’s outlook.

In this busy season it is all too common to feel like it has rushed by me in a blur. Family dinners and parties with friends come and go, and as fun as the celebration is, if I am not ready I know I will miss out on the joy that is being offered to me.

By being ready I don’t mean that the floors are washed and there is a freezer stocked with baked goods. There is a more important type of ready for me. The type of ready that opens my heart, prepares it to give and receive love. And this requires that I let go of anything and everything standing in my way. If I approach the season without de-stressing, attend the next party without letting go of the negative, I will onot find myself distracted when I arrive, not fully there. That thing I’ve been worrying about will still be weighing on me. Or that fight I had with my husband will still be annoying me.

Letting go of these things is the first thing I must do before moving on to the next thing. The next party. The next shopping trip. The next outing with my kids. The next dinner to host.

For me, letting go is often found in the act of journaling. This is what saved me this morning. While my husband did breakfast duty with our boys I wrote for a half hour in my bedroom, coffee in hand. As I wrote I let go of the worries and troubles and grievances of the week. And when my little 15 month old pushed open the door and crawled happily into the room, instead of snapping and feeling like yet another moment was stolen from me, I welcomed him with a wide smile and open arms. Because of the writing I was feeling more free now. I was more grounded again. Letting go helped me to clear my lenses, refresh my vision yet again.

How do you let go? Is it going for a run? A walk in nature? A coffee date with a friend? A night alone window shopping? A long drive? Picking up an instrument and playing music?

I am thankful I took this half hour to let go. So very very thankful. I don’t like when my lenses are dirty and I can’t see the precious, the good, the beautiful in front of me. But now I see clearly. And when my lenses become dirty again, I will make sure to take up my pen and write.


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