Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I Had to Have a Little Cry About It

Driving west on the interstate he other day, the sun setting and the same hundreds of cars dragging headlights home, I suddenly just...cried. Big, soppy tears and sniffles that start small enough you think you can conceal them behind aviators from other drivers that then surmount to sobs so breathtaking you think you should pull over.

Then you remember you're on 435 and that's never a good idea...

It felt so freeing to cry. To feel something so deeply on the inside and finally letting your outside match it. To let your shoulders sink deeper into the leather of the seats, your stomach ache with something other than stress, fear or love. Your body to loosen and nearly grow lifeless as you give up control with your mind and simply let your heart take over. It's as if you don't even know what's happening, nor do you care. It's freedom. It's marvelous.

One of my happiest-go-luckiest girlfriends frequently uses the statement "I had to have a little cry about it." She is also the same gal that recommends loosing it at times to help others understand just how passionate you are and how much you care. At first I didn't understand it, had to have much coaching to use it and still only break it out about once a year. But I tell you: she's on to something. And she has a billion smiles and the most brilliant light about her to prove it.

What broke me on this day was the song "Life is a Highway." Scanning through stations, the original version came over the car speakers, nearly stopping me in my tracks as I recalled catching Lawson in only a blue tee and diaper having the dance party of his life. His brick feet swung side to side as his fists hit the air, a grin as large as Texas covering his face. In short, he was dancing like no one was watching.

And suddenly, it hit me - I haven't been living this way. My highway had become just that: long paths of the obligatory, running this way and that, filling social and work obligations, literally not seeing the light of day as each began at 5 a.m. and ended around 11 p.m. There's nothing overly stressful or intense about the routine of it all. In fact, we're likely one of the most blessed families you can find in life. And not a moment goes by without gratitude and soaking in small moments. But those moments of pause are missing. Pause. Stop. Watch. Listen. Breathe.

The next big pause I look forward to is this summer, when our extended family ventures to an island on a six-day getaway. Besides one short trip with girlfriends, this will be the first extended pause I've taken in nearly five years. Today I begin dreaming of what that pause looks like, to come upon small seashells and wonder how they got there, to watch as my toddler discovers the ocean for the first time and to really listen as we laugh over cocktails in nothing but cover ups and flip flops.

Until then, I will look for other ways to pause and to feel the freedom that Lawson likely felt in his little fists as he found the salt air for the first time above. For now, maybe the answer is appreciation. Maybe it's love. Maybe it's good diet and exercise. Amazing friends. Supportive family. Pauses.

Or maybe it's to have a little cry about it.

Here's to your tears and your pauses. May they be abundant and freeing.

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