Back in January when Mike sang a duet in church, I learned a valuable lesson...
I spent the whole Sunday morning before his performance nervous and anxious. I worried he'd hit a wrong note (like I would recognize that?), or that he'd trip and fall on the way up to the front. I worried he'd forget the words (they were in front of him), or that he'd open his mouth and nothing would come out. I worried so much (which I think contributed to my nervous laughter), that when it was over, I felt as though I'd missed the entire performance. I drove home from church that day with tears in my eyes wishing I had enjoyed the musical number. I wished that when people told me how well he had done, or how much they liked the performance that I could relate. But I couldn't.
Fortunately our friend had recorded it and I listened to that recording more times than I care to admit.
It is quite coincidental that his performance fell the week before leaving for our week-long cruise. As I woke up the Monday morning, five days before leaving, I tried to rid myself of all of the worry and anxieties about leaving our children for 8 days. I was committed to living the lesson I had learned less than 24 hours earlier from Mike's musical performance. As natural worries surfaced in the coming days, I tried to remind myself to enjoy the moment.
At the forefront of my mind was the determination to not spend the week of my cruise worrying about all the what ifs that had crossed/or would cross my mind. You know those silly things like, What if the ship sinks or the plane crashes? What if the kids are naughtier than they've ever been? What if Mike drowns? What if the ship gets delayed a week. And so on and so on.
(Yes. I am a worrier.)
When I got out of the car at the SLC airport to begin our journey to Florida, our friend Kellen's last words to me were, "Your kids will be fine." (Not that he was going to be in charge of them!?)
I can honestly say, as soon as I stepped onto the ground at the Florida airport, I didn't worry about the children, the ship or anything even once! (Cruises are obviously very good for my mental health.) OK, I do admit one exception, I did worry slightly that Mike had gotten separated from his snorkeling group when he was 20 minutes late meeting me at our assigned destination.)
I lived in the moment on that cruise the entire week! I basked in the beauty around me, embraced the opportunity that was ours, and had faith and optimism that all was well at home. I had no regrets from wasted energy or thoughts, or time spent worrying. I stepped off that ship feeling like I had enjoyed every moment, and the only regrets I had were that it and come to an end, and that I had eaten too much. (Oh and that I left my favorite navy blue Gap t-shirt on the sandy white beaches of the Bahamas.)
I know, I know! What in the world am I doing gallivanting off to Europe when I have five children and a husband at home? But opportunity knocked and I answered.
(I'm heading to Paris with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, then I'm going to London alone for a few days to visit dear friends and places I will always love.)
Did I learn my lesson completely from January? Hopefully once I step foot in the Paris airport, I will not give a single worry about the goings on at home. I will try not to think about whether Mike will get Joshua to a birthday party on-time on Friday, or whether Mike will remind the little boys to occasionally brush their teeth, or if they will have a fruit and/or vegetable in their pack lunches, or if he'll remember to help Joshua with his homework each afternoon.
I'm going to let the worries leave my mind as I say goodbye to Mike on Tuesday afternoon. My family and life will still be here when I return on May 8th, so I am going to make the most of everyday I am in Paris and London. Like with my cruise, I want to return knowing I basked in each moment and have no regrets of wasted energy or worries.
I won't even regret eating too much this time... French pastries, baguettes, Brie cheese, fish and chips, Battenburg cake, prawn cocktail crisps, and Flakes and Double Deckers will be consumed in bounty in the coming days.