The Boys Are Back in Town
Guess who just got back today?
Them wild-eyed boys that had been away
Haven’t changed, have much to say
But man, I still think them cats are crazy
—Thin Lizzy: Jailbreak 1976
Yup. They’re baaaack!
A little bleary from exams, somewhat jaundiced from excess KD, and suffering serious Nintendo deprivation our young university warriors are home.
Within minutes of walking in the door our son summoned his good childhood pals for a night of video games and general goofing around.
Our home is once again alive with the deep voiced guffaws of these young men in their last year of teenage-hood.
What Happened To My Peace and Quiet?
It seems like moments ago it was hauntingly quiet, somewhat peaceful but a little unnerving. Now, the sound of video game nonsense and general joking around is reverberating throughout our open concept home (built with an ultimate empty nest in mind).
We don’t just have one child back home now, we inherited three or four more “sons” as his friends meander in. All of a sudden the food supply must be increased generously. All we had in the house to munch on were carrot sticks and rice crisps. Hence, our local pizza take out was once again graced with our orders to urgently feed hungry mouths on a Friday night.
I regained my motherly instincts by Sunday when I had stocked up on enough food to handle any un-anticipated and always hungry mouths that may walk through the door. If you have been reading my blog you know how I love to feed others. (see: Choosing to Lose Weight.)
The Opportunity in Change
This stage of life is such a great opportunity to practice acceptance. It is a good example of what life really is all about. It is a series of moments that change sometimes gradually, and other times suddenly without warning.
Change is inevitable in our lives. Those of us who embrace it and manage it are the ones who find different levels of joy in all corners of our lives.
The Last Chapter—A New Earth
In the chapter ten of A New Earth Eckhart Tolle says there are three modalities to follow as we strive to be conscious:
1. Acceptance: “Whatever you cannot enjoy doing, you can at least accept that this is what you have to do.”
2. Enjoyment: “When you make the present moment, instead of the past or future, the focal point of your life, your ability to enjoy what you do and with it, the quality of your life increases dramatically.”
3. Enthusiasm: “Enthusiasm means there is a deep enjoyment in what you do plus the added element of a goal or a vision that you work toward.”
Evolving Through To Joy
As my environment started to change on Friday night I let myself feel acceptance. “It is what it is”—they are back. Then, just waiting around the corner was enjoyment.
I embraced the moment, enjoyed their laughter and goofing around and set myself to the task of figuring out dinner.
Since I had been watching my calories, pizza had not entered my field of vision for weeks. I was so excited to have the opportunity to munch on a slice of pizza. Dinner was taken care of with enthusiasm!
Now let me be clear, this was an easy opportunity for me to practice this and use it as an example here. This change came wrapped in having my youngest son return home for the summer. It was easy to gear up to enthusiasm.
These three levels of being are my new mantras. They are my desktop. As I navigate through the day I try to notice where I am in this spectrum. If I feel any negativity I try to figure out what I can do to find acceptance in the situation or change it before I continue on.
Can You Find Acceptance?
The next time you are involved in a task or situation where you feel somewhat negative, see if you can look inside to find acceptance for it and notice how that feels. Give yourself some grace, try it with something relatively easy to manage at first and build up to the more difficult pieces in your life as it becomes a more natural way of being for you.
“It is what it is,” goes a long way in getting you back on a path to more joy.