Already There

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Attitude of Gratitude

Angela Williams Glenn

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Life is available only in the present moment. If you abandon the present moment you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

“What are you doing, Mommy?” asked my four-year-old.

“Thinking about what I need to get done,” I said sadly, as I snuggled her baby brother and continued to sway in the hammock swing.

“Oh, Mommy, you’re always worried about what needs to be done next,” she said in her matter-of-fact four-year-old-going-on-at-least-fourteen voice. “Just enjoy now!”

I chuckled as I watched her run off to swing with her sister on the swing set. She was right, though. That girl at four years old would have life figured out before all the rest of us. I spent too much time worrying about what needed to be done next rather than basking in the blessings of now.

There was a time when it all felt like a mad rush to prove we could do it. Prove it to ourselves, to each other, to our families, to the naysayers. The imperative was to accomplish this and accomplish that. Always looking ahead to where we were going next. If one of us wasn’t pushing for what was next, the other was.

That day, I looked around as I stood up to head down to the swing by the girls. I realized we were standing right where we were headed all along. We had the house, degrees, careers, savings, and now the family—things we had to struggle at times to get. There was no more need to rush. It would all come in time if it was meant to come. Even if it never did, we already had enough.

Standing there on that gorgeous spring day, I watched the girls and dog play in the back yard while my husband grilled our dinner. I breathed in the happiness of life that surrounded me. There was such joy in these little moments when we were all just simply being.

“Swing me, Mommy!” called my oldest excitedly as I approached the swing.

“Me, too!” cried my four-year-old.

I gave them each a little push as their childish legs pumped to keep them moving. With each little push, they climbed higher.

“More, Mommy! More, Mommy!” they cried in unison.

I balanced the baby with my one arm that was free from pushing the swing. “I think you’re as high as you’re going to go. Just keep on swinging and enjoy the view.”

My husband waved down to all of us in the yard as he took a break from the grill. We were already where we were headed all along.

— Angela Williams Glenn —

Reprinted by permission of Chicken Soup for the Soul, LLC 2022. In order to protect the rights of the copyright holder, no portion of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent. All rights reserved.

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