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Practicing radical optimism

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Listening to my parenting power song while I write this. “That I would be good even if I did nothing. That I would be good even if I got the thumbs down.” Writing the words as I’m listening reminds me of being a teenager, when I would listen to Lisa Loeb and the CD soundtrack of Felicity and transcribe the words to songs like “Rose Colored Times” and “Here comes the flood”. Ever the emotional one, truest to my Piscean nature. Ever the lover of words (studying the poetry – the shape of the language). Ever seeking a challenge (transcribing with pen to paper in real time with the music). For no good reason, actually. No outward purpose whatsoever. Just practicing radical presence. Forced into the moment by an all-consuming multi-sensory experience. Listening. Watching. Moving.  Kind of like yoga.

We got caught in a downpour

It was so notable that multiple neighbours mentioned it afterwards – they had seen the three of us and our wagon charge merrily (naively) to the “far park” – the one that’s a 13+ minute walk away. With – unbeknownst to us – an early summer thunderstorm about to hit – sudden dusky sky at four in the afternoon, that heavy silence and the neighbourhood cats taking refuge on familiar porches. Next the thunder (and the 1 and 3 year old leap into my arms). Then the sky just opened. Throwing one in the wagon and one over my shoulders – grateful every day for my decade as a gym and yoga rat – never imagining that one day I would have an actual practical real-life reason to be physically strong: lifting two 30 pound children regularly. In the case of sudden thunderstorms, for example.

And were we upset?

Actually, against all the odds, we were enchanted. For my part, I kept saying “isn’t this incredible?” and “Isn’t this beautiful?” Pointing to the sheets of water pounding down on to us and the sidewalk. Getting amused smiles from the few people caught in it with us, dashing out with their dogs. All sensibly carrying umbrellas. But the two thirty-pounders? Speechless. Spellbound.    And we were cleansed.

This was radical optimism

A high point in the week (a week full of many high and low points, I assure you). A summer shower, outdoors, fully clothed, and jubilant. Believing it was happening for us, not to us. Breaking the pattern of frustration when things don’t go as planned. Shifting the narrative from “this is so hard” to “this is actually magic”. Magic, you guys. “That I would be good even when I am overwhelmed.” “That I would be good even if I lost sanity.” This is me wishing you, dear reader, all the being and all the good X
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