A simple white daisy. A beautiful sunrise. A roaring fire. A child’s laughter. Free. Simple. Sweet.
Every year on Mother’s Day I realize how much I loathe the holiday. Not because I don’t love my children or because I’m not paid enough attention, but because I detest forced holidays. We feel that we must do some big thing to show our mothers we appreciate them as much or more than last year. We do this by buying flowers, chocolates, and little glass trinkets that say “MOM” on them that will collect dust in some cabinet for the rest of eternity. The guilt we will alleviate if we “put-out” for our moms is totally worth the $5.00 greeting card! Most of us love our mothers, we would help them in any way we could, we want them to be happy-and happiness, we are told, will just cost us some dough every May.
It’s not just Mother’s day with which I have issue. Valentines Day? REALLY??? Bring me some flowers, take me to dinner. I will hurry and feed the kids, make sure homework is done, hide the rest of the candy from the two -year old who is running around with a mega sugar-high and somewhere between drying my hair and squeezing into some amazing dress (damn chocolate!) I will pick up a baby-sitter and go from being an over-worked mother to the sex pot that you married. Sigh. Then we can rush to dinner and come home, play around with the lingerie I felt I should purchase and doze off feeling like we’ve paid homage to the holiday.
When did the simple things in life become overtaken by the media? When did we sell our souls for flowers and candy? What happened to homemade gifts, to poems from the heart, to a nice walk together? I’m not against flowers or candy. (I DO detest little glass ornaments as I’m not a collector of randomness.) I am against the RUSH – the rush of our lives. We are always so busy with life that we forget to live. The moments pass us by as we do all that is expected. Where are the quiet moments where we gaze into each other’s eyes and smile? I’ll take a daisy in a jelly jar over a dozen roses any day.
photo source: http://emcrorie.blogspot.com/2006/06/daisy-jar-3.html
I am in complete agreement with everything you have just said. Marci Shimoff, in her book on the science behind happiness, Happy for No Reason, speaks in detail about simplicity being the cornerstone of true happiness through her research. In grad school one of my mentors Shawnee Brittan always preached about “keeping it simple”, which was the hardest thing for me to contextualize at the time, but which is all I strive for now. In this era we all need a greater degree of simplicity all-around.
We both had a moment a few weeks ago, in which there was a mutual feeling inside each of us; a shared moment that neither could’ve guessed resided in the other, until we both shared it later, in different descriptions. But what it came down to was that in that moment we both realized we’d each respectively experienced the best moment of our lives so far, despite the simplicity of the proceedings, and certainly because of the lack of expectation; in short we both shared the same thing respectively, but in our own unique way for the moment of commonality. You’ve described feeling the same way in random moments with your kids, and I have too with my daughter. It’s one of those unplanned moments of life that REALLY defines what life really is, not some sort of structure-driven schedule, expectation, or material interaction.