Over the weekend we had our first “real” snowfall in Wisconsin. Real = snow stuck to the ground. On Sunday Ingrid and I shoveled the mere half-inch of stubborn snow. We’ve been battling sore throats and hacking coughs since Daylight Savings Time started and my lungs welcomed the fresh cold air.
As we were putting our shovels away, Ingrid held hers up in the air and declared “I have got to get me one of these! Remember Mom, from Tangled?”
In case you don’t remember:
Her first contextual movie quote! I felt pride and guilt but I laughed so hard. A real laugh that she instantly recognized as genuine and did what any toddler would do: repeated that joke. Over and over again, regardless of the reaction.
Back to that sweet moment. I didn’t have to distract her and she didn’t get bored. She was shoveling like a little adult, joked like a little kid and then instantly went back to being a little toddler. A toddler who needed to go inside and “check” on her stuffed animal, Duck. It was a perfect moment. How perfect? Let’s turn to B.J. Novak to provide perfect descriptions of perfect:
“In my opinion, there are two types of perfect. The first is the type that seems so obvious and intuitive to you and everyone else that in a perfect world is would simply be considered standard; but, in reality, in our flawed world, what should be considered standard is actually so rare that it has to be elevated to the level of ‘perfect.’ This is the type of perfect that makes you and most other people think, ‘Why isn’t everything like this? Why is it so hard to find…’ a black V-neck cotton sweater, or a casual non-chain restaurant with comfortable booths, etc.–‘that is just exactly the way everyone knows something like this should be?’ ‘Perfect,’ we all say with relief when we finally find something like this that is exactly as it should be. “Perfect. Why was that so hard to find?’
“The other type of perfect is the type you never could have expected and then could never replicate.”
This small moment was the other type of perfect. Unexpected and unimportant but, perfect.
For me, just being mindful of these moments is becoming important. My daughter is entering the world of “wants.” She knows what a Christmas List is and has become skilled in circling her desired items in the Sunday paper inserts. She is growing up. She asks to play with her friends and reads books independently. Teaching a toddler that less is more is probably impossible. But even if the lesson falls on deaf ears, I’m trying to teach her that less stuff means we don’t have to spend so much time cleaning, leaving us with more time to play. Less complaining and more dance parties can equate to happiness (she was on board with this example).
Translated into adult-stuff – this means trying to get over myself and get realistic with my goals. I took a break from writing and working out to deal with my cold and adjust to Daylight Savings Time. I lost four pounds, shopped online and practiced calligraphy (finally!). I stopped listening to that never-ending shit loop of meaningless to-dos in my head (resistance!) and just listened to myself. I stopped stressing out over my never-ending lists and accomplished something. And I found joy in the process and the outcome. Let’s say it again, less is more! Less list-making more action, less stressing more sleep. Less planning and preparing more random Disney reenactments that result in perfect moments.