I struggle to be present. 

Can you relate? The planner in me is ALWAYS working toward the next thing on the calendar, the next decision that has to be made. I continually play all the scenarios in my mind as life-in-the-moment is actually happening. 

I don’t like this about myself, it just is

But today, I had a moment. A clear-headed, I’m-right-here-with-you moment where I couldn’t help but focus on what was happening in front of me.

From my spot on the carpet, surrounded by stuffed animals galore, I was surprised by the curious energy of a child as she sang “Happy Birthday to you, Brita” in her unbearably sweet two-year-old voice. 

It’s not my birthday, but it felt like it was. It was like a pile of unopened gifts and thick, buttercream frosting all rolled up into my niece’s little body as the familiar words rang out clear and true. For a rare moment, I was completely in my body and fully aware of the beauty I was immersed in. 

As I unpack this precious moment, I recognize in my niece something that can only be called joy – unadulterated joy! The joy that only a child can create, before the cares of this world and endless litany of worries leaves stains on our wounded and weary adult hearts. 

A joy that grown-ups rarely feel apart from the influence of a child. 

Friends – remember the giggles and sticky fingers of the past! Invite the children tucked away in your memory to join you as you enter into this day. Be open to surprises and things that only make sense to a toddler. And laugh! Laugh as you encounter them, whether in your memory or in the day ahead. 

You may be an adult, but you can live an unadult-erated life! 

Happy Birthday to you!

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