I’m not in a good mood all the time.
Even at the holidays, during the time that it seems we are supposed to be all warm-fuzzy on the inside and the outside.
Even though I look at my life and see that it is completely filled with love, health, and so many good gifts.
And even though my family and I have everything we need here on this earth.
When circumstances and my lot in life seem to in no way justify being in a bad mood, there it is anyway. A funk I can’t get rid of. A set of feelings on the inside that take me some time to work through. All happening on the inside while the world waits for me to get my junk together and just smile.
I tend to be an introverted internal processor.
A really slow one. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings that I’m working through at almost all times in my own head. Sometimes I’m so distracted by this that I can barely have a decent conversation with the person in front of me. And trust me “person standing in front of me”. There are days when I desperately wish I could explain this to you. But what I’m working through doesn’t even make enough sense to me yet to put into actual words, or I am so very scared of what you’d think of my personal mess.
During the holiday break one day I was feeling particularly guilty about being in a funk with seemingly no good reason. I have this friend that will occasionally spurt out the most profound things to me, and thankfully she did that day. She texted me and said:
“I don’t think it helps to beat ourselves up over not being in a good mood. We’ll have snatches of sweet moments and we should look for them and help them linger when we see them.”
Wow. I screen-shotted these words because I knew I’d want to refer to them a few times over.
I had been a little bit under the weather for two weeks off and on and spent a lot of the holiday not feeling great. One day I needed to make a trip to Walmart because we were finally running out of Christmas leftovers and it was time to emerge from the house. My 16-year-old son volunteered to go with me. I thought he must be wanting to purchase something.
He drove me there. And then he pushed the shopping cart. He loaded and unloaded all the things and was such good company to his tired mama. I asked him later why he decided to go and he said “Well, it just seemed like you didn’t really want to go and I wanted to help you.”
Suddenly my mind screamed “THIS. SNATCH THIS MOMENT!!!”
Our time together. The way he served me and loved me that day was a moment that I wanted to grab up and hold onto and let linger. And so I did.
Then I started looking for other moments to snatch up and hold onto. There was a special prayer time with my family a few days before. There was my daughter showing me she’d cleaned her room really well (for the first time in months).
There’s something surprising to me about the moments I’m snatching up.
I didn’t create most of these moments. For real. Did you hear me on that?
I wasn’t the planner, the instigator, the one that made that thing happen. I sat back and created the space for people.
You see, I like to be the creator of moments. I like to plan the cookie decorating, and the fun shopping outing and the movie night. Those can be great times and great memories, and occasionally there’s a beautiful moment of time in there to snatch up. But for the most part, the things I’m wanting to hold onto weren’t created by me, and that is a reality that I need to hear and really let sink in.
And moms don’t have to be happy all the time. It is not realistic to expect that your mood will always be good, even if your life is very good. But you don’t have to be in a good mood to snatch up beautiful moments.
You can collect them no matter your mood. You can hold them and cling to them. They are warmth and comfort amidst whatever mood you’re in and will see you through both good moods and bad.