Right after lunch today I had to pack up my purse and head out to work. As I was leaving I gave my husband a kiss, loved on my daughter, moved the dogs away from the door, waved, and walked out the front door. It was an everyday task, nothing big. But as I got in the car and pulled out of the carport, I looked up at my front window to see my daughter—who had been on the absolute other side of the room when I shut the door—smiling her huge toothy grin at me and waving as she saw me drive away. And do you know what the radio was playing at that moment?
I couldn’t help it. I smiled and almost cried the whole way to work. My family, they make life beautiful.
But that isn’t where the story ends.
Man I love this life, but…
After a long afternoon with a lot of projects going on at work I was tired and done with the day. I called my husband to see if he could do something for me to cut some time off making dinner. But I could tell there was a lot going on at home too. So I didn’t worry about it and went home to a bit of a cranky household. All thought of that moment I had on my way to work that afternoon was gone. All I could think was how my whole life was work. Work a full-time job, work keeping the house clean, work keeping the toddler alive. It goes on and on.
It isn’t like I don’t have help, I have plenty of help. But that is the nature of life, and it get’s tiring. I’m tired. And honestly I think the tiredness makes all the little moments that really matter go muted and quiet. Which means it takes more work to hold onto them.
Great. More work. Why is everything so much work?
I really lived.
One of my very favorite quotes is from Marjorie Pay Hinckley. She said:
“I don’t want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone’s garden. I want to be there with children’s sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.”
I love that. Don’t you? Our lives don’t have to be perfect. It is our imperfect lives that perfect us. And I think a large part of that has to do with the work we put into each of our days.
It matters what type of work we put in our lives, sure. And I’ll leave that to you. But when I had this epiphany tonight it made me realize how letting myself enjoy it all really helped bring the lovely memories to life again. I felt at peace. And the words to that song came back in full force.