Thursday, February 7, 2013

More to Beauty

There is more to the beauty in my life than a clean home.

I have been sucked into tunnel-vision.  My goal is to allow and accept the beauty into my life that is already there, but I have started operating in a single-track fashion, focusing only on cleaning my home.  I do have a goal to create and maintain a clean home, but I need to sit back and breathe while enjoying all of the other forms of beauty begging for my acceptance.

What about the laughter my family shared last night when my husband found a googley-eye and we took turns sticking it to our foreheads?  That is beautiful.  I need to bask in it.

What about the beauty I feel when I volunteer in my daughter's Kindergarten class?  I usually have to drag myself in, but by the time I'm done I have a little contact high from all the delightful kids.  There is a lot of beauty to be found in finger painting with 5-year-olds, or cutting cardstock for the teacher.

What about the beauty of the first sunny day in weeks?  Yes, it is winter in Washington, and I accept and embrace the rain...but a sunny day is easily beautiful.  I need to open my blinds wide and accept the beauty of the sunshine.

Is there beauty in the cranky sounds of the chickens in my neighbor's yard?  I appreciate the fact that they aren't MY chickens to maintain.  I guess there is beauty in the funny noises they make, and the childhood memories of the chickens my father raised.

I have a job that I enjoy.  I get to teach math, I get to impact young people in an alternative way, and I get to do it from the comfort of my own home.  While teaching in the classroom, I began to lose the fulfillment, and was not enjoying it for the last couple of years.  I took the plunge and here I am.  It is a beautiful thing to have such freedom and flexibility, while still maintaining my professional skills and doing the work I feel called to do.

There is some Tillamook Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream in the freezer.  The joy I feel when I eat a small enough bowl to feel no shame is a beautiful thing.  This is, quite undeniably, the best ice cream in the known universe.  Eating it slowly and lavishing every bite is a far more beautiful experience than wolfing down the whole carton and feeling sick for hours afterward.

These things are easy.  The question I'm wrestling with at the moment is whether I need to find beauty in every experience, or if some are just plain not beautiful.  Is it beautiful that my son has a deep cough and can't sleep?  Is there beauty in being overweight, severely nearsighted and blessed with rosacea?  Is the discovery that one of my hub-caps flew off while driving and is now lost a beautiful thing?  Is my daughter's lactose intolerance a thing of beauty?

Beauty is taking on a strange definition for me.  I honestly think that I believe there is beauty to be found in every experience, whether I want to see it or not.  Sometimes I have to look deeper, and sometimes it doesn't occur to me until much later.  Sometimes the beauty is a result of the experience, and not in the experience itself.  This is a tricky one for me, because if I don't see or understand the beauty right away, I discount it and ultimately can't accept it.  I wish to welcome ALL forms of beauty into my life.

I deserve BEAUTY in my life!


  1. This may help you find good in the bad things...

    I haven't managed to word it all yet but it occurred to me the other day (again) that all things happen for a reason. When I moved off campus a couple years ago, I meant to move once until after graduation. Instead I moved 4 times in the last two stressful years of school. If I hadn't waited so long to move, I probably would not have chosen where I did in Ossining. Had I not, I would not have learned the main highways criss-crossing the area and if I had not nicely driven that roommate to the mechanic, I would not have learned a backway to the freeway - both of which saved me from a loooong commute the other day. If I had not had to move from there to Dobbs Ferry, I never would have found the quick/in house tailor that Dave has now needed twice. There's also the experiences I share with others, such as getting my heart broken so that I could meet someone infinitely better for me. Your son is sick now, but he is building a stronger immune system for next time. Your daughter will learn to be creative with recipes and may discover amazing foods the rest of us wouldn't thing to look for. Maybe the hubcap has taught you to check for loose screws. There's good in life. It may "just" be a learning curve, or it may "just" provide you with a story or extra sympathy in the future. Or maybe it just makes us who we are.

    Keep up the good work, Roomie. During a particularly rough time, I started saying "but on the bright side..." after every pessimistic thing I thought of. Eventually it became automatic (for a while). It was pretty entertaining when my mind automatically started pointing out the brighter twist of things. ;-)

    1. Thanks, Roomie. :) You always have been a spark of sunshine. I like the idea of finding the beauty in the learning curve, even if a situation seems far-from-beautiful. <3