With Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day behind us, and the holidays looming largely ahead, it’s time for some neglected #reflection and #gratitude. I didn’t even post an obligatory #thankful photo of the fam jam on Instagram over Thanksgiving like I usually do. I did attend two Remembrance Day services this year (one at the elementary school and one at the Grand Parade downtown). The school ceremony was wonderful and Anna was overjoyed to be asked to help light the peace candle. And on November 11, even though we are always way at the back where it’s hard to see and hear and its cold out, I enjoy the city ceremony as a time to pause and reflect for all that we have here in Canada. There’s also three generations of military service in my family to be proud of.
In our house, we sometimes find ourselves craving the chance to slow down. We’ve made an effort to stop booking our schedule jam-packed full, but sometime that’s hard, because life. And we like being on the go. But maybe 2 or 3 things at a time, not 4 or 5! As long as we regularly schedule some down time, and use it to unwind and reflect on what we have going on - the good and the bad. It’s equally as important to open our eyes during the flurry of activity and gigantic messes and whirlwind motions of the day to look around and be thankful for all of the craziness too.
I wrote the following post last winter, but wasn’t blogging at that time, so never shared it. I’m thankful for the encounter because it was a reminder to be thankful and grateful for what I have, so I’ll share it today:
On Thursday I overslept - on the morning after a small snow storm, which slows everything and everyone down in and of itself. I messed up Anna’s appointment time at the eye clinic and thus the rest of our regularly scheduled morning, which morphed into a hectic sprint to get organized. When I double checked the appointment time before we left, I discovered the appointment was earlier than I realized and we missed it. A quick call to the office confirmed we could still come in, as long as we got there right away. I then drove completely the wrong way to get to the hospital. And I didn’t realize my sweater was on inside out until after we left the appointment. Then I found myself at least 15 people deep in a line at Tim Hortons, because I let Anna have a treat after her eye appointments at the hospital and she never lets me forget. ‘What a rough day,’ I grumbled to myself, annoyed.
Unsurprisingly, Little Miss Chatty made friends with the woman ahead of us and they gabbed as the line slowly moved, me interjecting with a fake smile or murmured laugh here and there. As the woman stepped away from the counter after her turn, she crouched down and pressed a five dollar bill into Anna’s little hand. “Hey, will you use this to buy you and your mommy a treat?” I was surprised and of course followed up with a very quick “No, no, you don’t have to do that.”
“No, please,” was her response. “Let me. I miss my kids so much I want to treat her. I’ve been here for 3 days!” And at that she took off. Anna was beside herself with excitement and I wanted to kick myself. It was a very kind reminder that what I considered to be a rough or frustrating morning can easily sound pretty damn good to someone else. It was a reminder to be thankful for all I have. It was a reminder not to sweat the small stuff. It was a reminder to slow down, and be grateful for it all - the good, the bad and the frustrating.