I can’t count the number of times I’ve collapsed into the sofa after a crazy day, and thought with a tired sigh, “How did I get here?”
That question is certainly a great lead-in to some introspection isn’t it? It creates a perfect opportunity to silently count the days blessings, but…that’s not usually what I do. Instead, I stare at the ceiling and think back on that crazy, unexpected curveball that started my day, mentally watching it whack into the first domino of my carefully stacked, neatly planned next 12 hours. One after the other, my efforts fell into mindless oblivion as I worked to put out fires and juggle appointments.
Looking back, I know I was working hard, but I just can’t remember specifics.
Memory fog was especially strong when I was raising my two children. I quit work when they were about four and two years old, so I had the great fun of being present to them and for them for many years. But the same syndrome I experienced while working would happen at home too.
The kids loved to wake up early, and seemed to have limitless supplies of energy. (What four and two-year-olds don’t?) PreSchool, gymnastics, swim lessons, trips to the park, laundry, cooking, art projects, books – it was a busy time. My husband would come home from work and ask “How was your day?. I’d turn to answer and freeze. Um, I don’t know. What did I do all day? It seemed like all I did was keep up. I struggled many days to answer that question, often just settling with “Fine. How was yours?”
Honestly, I’d love to tell him everything we did and how wonderful it all was. But that would mean taking a little break to quietly look back at the passing hours, so I could see, really see, all the joy, sorrow, love and challenge that swirled around us. But who has time for that?
This week, we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, a day that gently draws us all into self-reflection. No matter how busy or brain-fogged we are by daily responsibilities, we gather together with family and friends to celebrate all the ways we have been blessed. And make a conscious effort to answer the question, “How did I get here?”
The gifts and blessings of each hour, in each day of this past year have shaped and directed us to where we are right now. What a great thing it is to take time this week to look back at all the miracles, seen and unseen, that have allowed us to be…here. Right here. Here in this blessed space with our families, friends and those we serve.
What if “How did I get here?” became the focus of every evening prayer? I mean, not just on Thanksgiving, but every day of the week. Instead of sitting on the sofa feeling confused, we’d silently review the day instead, giving thanks for each grace that carried us through.
That way, every day would be Thanksgiving Day.
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