I don't know about you, but I had a great weekend. Why? Because I saw both dreams and joy embodied.
We're busy at Canuck Central. Like crazy busy. Well, at least I am. I've been feeling like Sisyphus on a daily basis (although my boulder is filled with French translations…) and it's easy to get frustrated and focus on the negative.
The thing is, when you do that, you completely miss out on the overwhelming greatness of this world. And sometimes it takes a seven-year-old girl to remind you.
As we age, we gain wisdom. We learn from our experiences, but that knowledge comes with a price — the loss of innocence and wonder. We see things not as they are, but rather how they are in comparison. We contextualize and overanalyze almost everything we encounter. But how much better would life be if we could strip it all away and appreciate wonder in its purest form.
Saturday, we spend the morning checking out dance schools for my daughter. And the image that's burned in my mind is that of my daughter, sitting on her knees to see over a window, watching a group of girls practicing their pointes and rehearsing their choreography. Watching her face, you could literally see her dreams dancing through her mind, her hopes and wishes reflected in her eyes. It wasn't the false worship of some music idol, but rather honest reverence for the beauty of dance.
Needless to say, we signed her up.
Sunday, we were off again to buy her an early birthday gift. Her grandfather wanted to buy her a bike, so we headed out to find the perfect one. A big girl bike. "But it has to have a basket and tassels…" Of course. We went to a few stores, not finding anything that really worked out. My daughter, of course, liked everything in that "I just want to get ANY bike and get out there and ride it" kind of way.
Yes, she liked a handful of bikes — but she only loved one. You know those movie scenes where the character sees an object of desire, and the screen lights up with the glow that's emitting from the object? Yeah, that's exactly what it was like. Her previously grinning face threatened to split courtesy of the huge smile that broke forth when she saw "The One."
Who cares how many gears it had? Heck, the wheels could have been made of wood — it didn't matter. That was the one. Sure, there was no basket or tassels, but it was pink, proud, and perfect! Fortunately, she has good taste, and it was a pretty decent bike. But no feature can ever compare to that glow… It was pure, unabashed, wholehearted joy.
I've bought plenty of things in my life and I don't remember the last time I felt that way. We're conditioned to wonder, "could I get a better deal somewhere else?" or find faults in what we have, "Oh, it's great. But…" Not Juliana. Not this weekend. If the bike cost $5 or $500 she couldn't have cared less — she found the one.
So what makes you feel like that? Do you ever feel like that now? Or are you too caught up in reservations. You know that whole "Dance like no one's watching" philosophy? I don't see people do that. We want to show joy — but not too much. We seem to restrict the amount of fun we allow ourselves to have, or the pleasure we take in everyday things. Are you aware you do it? Do you make a conscious effort to focus on the positive in life? In business?
Coming back, she looked at the rose bush in front of our house and said, "Oh how sad. That's the last rose bloom for the summer. It's pretty isn't it?" And, for the first time in ages, I stopped and smelled the roses.
Oh, and that bike? We ended up buying her the basket and tassels. And she hasn't stopped smiling since.