When my mom was in her early twenties her dad said the following to her regarding choosing who to marry:
“A lot of days are just three meals a day, so you better find someone you really like.”
The other night while we watched This is Us, I sobbed at the end of an episode watching Jack and Rebecca do the dishes in contented silence, simply enjoying standing next to someone they really liked.
Lately I’ve been so aware of how much of life is just the in-between moments.
Emptying the dishwasher.
Sweeping the floor.
Straightening the bed spread and arranging the pillows.
Singing the same lullaby for what feels like the millionth time.
Wiping the noses.
Wiping the bums.
Clipping the carseats.
Opening and closing the fridge.
Repeat. Again. Repeat. Again. Again. Again. Again.
I can get so caught up in the illusion that someday when this far-off, shiny, exciting thing happens (sometimes I have something in mind, sometimes it’s a vague longing), I’ll pop out of the minutiae and then I’ll be really living.
But it turns out that life pretty much is the minutiae.
We’ll never really be done chopping wood and carrying water. Because moments after the plate is put back in the cabinet, it’s taken out again for the next meal. And it begins again. And again. And again.
So what do we do, then, with this potentially excruciatingly boring, repetitive existence of doing the things that we have to do, day in and day out, to keep ourselves, the people we love, and our surroundings relatively clean, functional, and healthy?
Look for magic in the minutiae.
Putting on Pink and dancing around the kitchen with my girls as I clean the kitchen after dinner.
Sitting in the driveway in my car eating a takeout salad, having the first real conversation with my husband in over a week while the rain falls on the windshield.
Making faces at my little girl to make her giggle as she eats her bagel.
Savoring the softness of my sheets when I finally lay my head down at night.
Feeling the weight and warmth of my baby girl in my arms.
If we’re constantly looking for ways to rush through, avoid, or pop out of the stuff of daily life, we end up missing life.
Yeah, we’ll all have our shiny, pinnacle moments. The weddings. The births. The first kisses. The paydays. The phone call that changes everything.
But then we still have to figure out what’s for dinner and floss and fold our clothes.
Most days are just three meals a day and all the little stuff we do as humans in between to keep life moving along.
Let’s enjoy the people we’re eating with.
Let’s take in the moments standing next to the people we love doing the mundane.
Let’s feel what it feels like to be us doing the things that aren’t that fancy and never will be.
Let’s find ways to enjoy it all more and then still more and then even a little bit more each time.
Let’s find magic in the minutiae. Because at the end of the day, it’s all there is. @katenorthrup (Click to Tweet!)
How do you find magic in the minutiae? Tell me in the comments.
P.S. What if you had more than enough time to truly take in your life and also do the things that really matter to you? Origin™ is my membership for busy women entrepreneurs to learn to manage their time and energy to get more of what they want. We’ll be opening the doors again in January, and you can get on the waitlist here to be the first to know when we do.
Kate Northrup is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, and mother who supports ambitious, motivated and successful women to light up the world without burning themselves out in the process. Committed to empowering women entrepreneurs to create their most successful businesses while navigating motherhood, Kate is the founder and CEO of Origin Collective, a monthly membership site where women all over the world gather to achieve more while doing less. Her first book, Money: A Love Story, has been published in 5 languages. Kate’s work has been featured by The Today Show, Yahoo! Finance, Women’s Health, Glamour, and The Huffington Post, and she’s spoken to audiences of thousands with Hay House, Wanderlust, USANA Health Sciences, and more. Kate lives with her husband and business partner, Mike, and their daughter Penelope in Maine. Find out more and receive your free copy of the 5 Simple and effective ways to get the results you want in your business at katenorthrup.com.
Image courtesy of burst.