One of the goals I made for the blog this year was to write a post every week – to keep the creative juices flowing, fingers typing, mind working. Clearly, this is a difficult one for me. Recently I’ve felt that I just don’t have enough going on or happening in my life to form a post that’s worthy of reading. My readers want adventure and pictures and excitement, and my days are surrounded by my nieces and nephews, reading easy books, racing last minute to work, and returning home late at night, exhausted and wide awake. I come to the morning where I told myself I will absolutely blog today and think nothing has happened worth writing about. I walk away from my computer. Maybe next week.
I always want to entertain you, make you laugh, make you think, maybe inspire you, but then I put pressure on having these momentous occasions to refer to, ones that teach lessons or are cause for laughing so hard you get the hiccups.
But it’s time to admit it – my life right now, is simple.
It’s beautifully and perfectly simple – full of the most monumentally simple things.
I’ve had the travel bug for a bit now, tugging at me to set everything aside and GO. Go somewhere, anywhere.
I want to see all the places I’ve never been. I want to breathe that air and swim in that culture and explore everything that makes others lives what mine is now. What do other’s lives look like when it’s “simple”?
I have friends that are spending the summer travelling through Europe. Others who are planning weeks later this summer for epic road trips and adventures in South America. I see on Instagram and Facebook pictures of moments that are life-changing, soul-bursting, heart-wrenching. It makes me want to leave even more.
It also makes me think of all these beautiful, small moments in my life now with less gratitude. How often do we compare our lives with those we see online?
I don’t want to do that. I want to see these pictures and find inspiration and encouragement, yes, but not a means to belittle my own life.
So today I’m thinking of the small moments the past few weeks, because they’ve added heaps of joy to my life.
Like last night, when I sat around the table with my parents, three of my sisters, and my boyfriend, with candles lit and wine open and kids’ happy shouts coming from the basement. Phones were set aside as we sat and talked late into the evening.
Or the other day, when my three-year-old nephew jumped on my lap and asked me to look out the window with him. He pointed out trees and puddles and flowers and then we laid our heads on the back of the couch looking at each other. He was looking not into my eyes but all over my face and I asked him, “What are you looking at, D?” I was certain his stare was aimed at a zit of blemish, an imperfection I should be more aware of.
“Your face,” he responded, “it’s so pretty.”
He popped his head up, ready to jump off the couch before he paused and said, “Or do you like awesome better?” and then leapt away with a squeal before I could answer.
I think of this moment at work the other day, while I set up the restaurant.
My boss and I had gotten into a couple small arguments recently that made me sad and frustrated, and I was declining into a period of desperation to leave. That day, I was setting up in the dining room whem my boss pulled out a chair and asked, “Hannah, are you okay? I’ve been noticing lately that maybe you aren’t as happy here as you used to be, and I want to make sure that we do our job to keep you happy.”
I scrambled for words – I could have said a million of them, and responded, “I have my ups and downs, but I’m happy.”
He paused, maybe also searching through millions of his own words before saying, “I think you carry a lot of the spirit in this place, Hannah. I truly think that.”
It was a compliment my restaurant-weary soul needed, and least expected from him. My eyes immediately filled with tears (I’m a crier, he knows this and I also know that it makes him intensely uncomfortable). I said a thank-you and warned him I could cry, to which he responded by nearly jumping out of his seat and moving on. It was a strangely perfect way for the two of us to make amends.
I think of my sister and her three kids who are staying with us for the summer as they do each year, visiting from Alabama, so there’s always a mob of kids (her and my other sisters’ kids) running around. It’s a fun, loud, creative, hilarious mob of loving cousins, and I see magic when they’re pretending, when the big kids tend to the little ones, encouraging their imaginations .
So yes, I want adventures and travel stories and big, momentous occasions that drastically shape me, but I never want to overlook the small ones. These perfectly simple moments of kindness, innocence, beauty. These moments you can’t catch and post online. The conversations that aren’t texts, the things you only get to keep in your memory. I want my eyes to be wide open and away from a screen for each of them.
To all of the little things,