Over the last thirty days or so, I have been way too busy. I’m tired and cranky. I actually thought it was a good idea last Thursday to stop by Byerly’s on the way home from work to pick up donuts (plural).
Mary told me this week that I tend to have a “dramatic sense of time.” Apparently, when I’m stressed, I act as though things have been going on for far longer than they actually have. So I probably have only been way too busy for approximately 48 hours. Whatever.
So I sat down and went back through my calendar over the last thirty days or so, looking for anything awesome that I did which might counteract my grouchiness.
I dare you to do this.
Here’s my top ten list of awesome things I did, even in this grouchy season:
10. I had dinner with Adam, Susie, Kathy, Joel, and Mary at Bar La Grassa. If you haven’t experienced the Lobster Bruschetta at BLG, you should be flogged. It’s crack in a restaurant. But forget BLG. Eat with those you love. Good things will happen.
9. I spoke at Open Door’s Ash Wednesday service. There is something so sacred and freeing about Ash Wednesday for me. For one day of the year, we all walk around with a visible sign on our foreheads, which says, “I’m messed up, but you have ashes on your forehead too, so I guess we’re in this together.”
8. My mom & dad came over to our house on a random Sunday afternoon. We ate together. We drank some wine. They made the boys laugh until they got the stupids. My dad and mom love our boys with an extravagant kind of love that should be illegal.
7. I spent two days studying the Scriptures with some great people. The youngest in this little group is in her mid twenties, and the oldest is a very amazing 60 year-old man. I love this little group. We laugh, eat way too much guacamole (thanks to Micah Witham), cry, and affirm each other late into the night (which is 9pm for me).
6. I had lunch with my friend Cornell, who made me cry. Generally, I don’t like to cry in Leann Chinn, but he’s doing some of the bravest things I’ve ever heard of, so I wept into my bowl of Grilled Bourbon Chicken.
5. I spent five days at home with my boys while Mary recovered from surgery. Now, granted, I lost it many times and I’m not proud of some of the desperate food choices I made, but starting every day with NBA Jam and waffles isn’t exactly Dante’s Inferno.
4. Mary and I celebrated Ben’s 4th birthday. On our boys’ birthdays, instead of giving them presents, we plan an adventure for them, designed for them to experience the pure joy of being loved. For Ben, that included Chipotle, a book store, a flower garden, and dinner with two of his favorite people at “a fancy French café.” He charmed everyone, everywhere he went. I love this kid.
3. I celebrated my niece Ella’s sixth birthday at the Mall of America. Approximately thirty adults and kids were crammed into a few tables at the Rainforest Café, and it was absolute chaos, but the good kind, where I remember looking around and smiling to myself, thinking: these are the people with whom I’m going to spend the rest of my life.
2. I spoke at the winter retreat for The Table at CPC. I don’t remember an “away game” where I felt more at home than with these generous people. They love each other, love God, and are not afraid to stay up late. Really late. Plus, Claire Wyatt is the funniest person in Minnesota. Please don’t argue with me.
1. I watched Star Wars for the first time with my five-year old son Isaac. This is far and away my favorite memory. One Friday night, we faked him out by putting him to bed, then going back in his room, getting him up, and then telling him we were watching Star Wars (Episode 4, of course). I was seven when I saw it in the theater first. Watching it with Isaac curled up against my shoulder, commenting every few minutes, was something I’ll never forget.
So, even though I’ve been busy, it was a gift for me to stop and look back at the actual contents of my life. My life is full, and while not everything feels good, it’s full of a lot of good things. Chances are, so is yours.
Make a top ten list. Or at least a top three list. Then share one of your memories by commenting below. We gotta share the love when we’re this grouchy.