This was originally a post from my old blog, Becoming Squishy. It's from three and a half years ago, but it's still a good reminder. I needed to read this again, and maybe you do, too. When things are hard—when they feel like too much—try to find the little things that are good and be with your people. We need all of it.
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Yesterday, I came across a picture of myself holding my youngest Smartling under a rainbow. I'd forgotten about that day.
We'd spent the afternoon at a friend's house, enjoying ourselves, but also realizing that we've ended up a bit on the periphery these days. Not by anyone's intention, just circumstantially. We don't go out much—we can't because money (none) and kids (two)—and we don't socialize nearly as much as we used to. Not nearly as much as we'd like to. We've gotten wrapped up in our own lives—in the ups and downs—and have forgotten to reach outside of our own little bubble. We've almost forgotten how.
We were on our way home from a lovely day that was both wonderful and bittersweet, because we realized how much we missed our friends, and we realized what hermits we've become. We were driving quietly along and then there in the stormy clouds ahead of us, a rainbow appeared. And not just any rainbow. This was a big, bright, huge rainbow.
We were both struck by how giant this thing was. I told my Smartner to pull over. He looked at me like I was crazy—it was bedtime and we had two sleepy, cranky kids in the car—but then he got that sparkly look and pulled over anyway. We jumped out of the car, unbuckling the kids, and we gazed at that big beautiful rainbow for a while. Danced underneath it as it started to rain. We took pictures of each other standing under that grand arch and just reveled in the beauty for a minute. We stopped and looked. We took it in. We did the wildly illogical thing and enjoyed for a moment.
And it was glorious. We weren't in the prettiest place in the world—just pulled over on the side of a busy road next to strip malls and chain restaurants—but it was perfect for a moment. Because we stopped. We looked. We saw. And we were together.
Omg look how tiny my baby was.
Sometimes I forget how important together is. Not just as a family, but as people. As friends, as loved ones, as lovers, as parents, as humans. Together. We all crave that intimacy, that understanding that we are in this together, and we get it. Someone gets it. That we are not alone.
I'm realizing quickly how much I cherish the people in my life and how often I forget to tell them—to show them—how important they are to me. To just stop and enjoy them. The people that tell me their stories and listen to mine. The people that laugh with me, and cry with me. The people that grin at my kids as they leap about the room, or the people that shake their heads with me as they screech and act like tiny monkeys. The people that bring me joy, that encourage me, that bolster me, that support me. My people. They do a lot for me, and hopefully I do the same for them.
Don't forget: You are not alone. You have people—even if it's just me and these words on a page. Even if it's a text telling someone you love them. Even if it's a voice on the end of a phone line. Even if it's the person sitting next to you. You have people. Don't forget. Stop. See. And enjoy.