Beauty is Everywhere

This morning, on a walk down to the local pool, I had one of those ‘Aha’ moments. As Alice’s chubby arms gripped my neck, she chitchatted my ear off while riding along on my back. There was nothing unusual about the day, the weather, or anything really, but as Alice continued to narrate her sightings, I caught a sentence that really grabbed my attention.

“Look Mom!”, Alice exclaimed. “So many stairs (pointing to a tall building’s rickety fire escape). It’s a CASTLE! And look at the car (pointing to a dirty SUV in the parking lot)! So BEAUTIFUL!”

I stopped walking and burst out laughing. Oh, to see the world from a toddler’s perspective!

Alice’s joyful ability to see beauty in the every day is quite literally the holy grail of mindfulness and the key to happiness – something that I have been struggling with for so long. So why IS it so difficult to get out of our heads and to truly recognize the simply mind-blowing awesomeness that surrounds us when toddlers like Alice come by it so easily?

I recently listened to Jen Sincero’s “You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” audiobook. I’m not one for self-help books, but it came recommended so I thought that I would give it a try. Despite being off work, surrounded by my kids and husband and being on vacation, I was still having trouble turning my brain off and bringing my anxiety levels down. I hoped maybe this read could help me seek perspective. Basically, the ‘Coles Notes’ version of the feisty, tongue-in-cheek life advice was to get a grip and just realize that your life is already awesome.

Ok, truth time. Almost on the daily over the past month, Blake and I have had this recurrent, ongoing exchange:

Blake: “Celia, relax! Just relax!”

Me: “I AM RELAXED!” (While furiously tidying up toys, gathering strewn laundry and simultaneously trying to brush the kids’ teeth).

Blake: “Ok, you’re seriously not relaxed. Chill out!”


And on it goes until Blake pushes a generous pour of red wine into my hands and forces me to stop moving for an instant.

Much to my chagrin, I have to admit, Blake is right. I have a hard time relaxing. I come by it honestly (sorry, Mom) and feel like the world is spinning out of orbit if the laundry is in a pile, unfolded, or if I haven’t swept the floors in more than 2 hours. I know theoretically that the dishes in the sink won’t be the impetus for World War III, but I literally cannot sit down unless those oatmeal-covered breakfast bowls are rinsed and tidily placed in the dishwasher. Blake often jokes that I have a disorder and a true inability to chill out. Fine, I’ll be the first to concede that he is probably right, but seriously, how can anybody live with all of this mess everywhere (insert head-exploding emoji)!!!

In my opinion, there are definite benefits of my ‘disorder’:

  1. I get shit done.
  2. My house is clean.
  3. All is in order (for about five milliseconds).

Buuuuuuuuuuut, let’s get real. I also acknowledge the serious downside to my insanity:

  1. I spend way too much energy and time on trying to maintain order amongst inevitable, constant chaos.
  2. It stresses others around me (Blake).
  3. I am so focused on making everything perfect, that I miss seeing the beauty and joy in the every day.
  4. It doesn’t make me happy.

So, here are my lofty challenges to myself after much reflection during my time off.

Let it go. Slow down – well, actually, sit my @$$ down once in awhile for starters. Put. Down. The. Broom. Understand that order can never be achieved with a husband, a dog and a three and four year-old in the house. Stop trying to ‘get a break’ from my life, but try to build a life that I don’t need to escape from. Recognize the awesomeness that surrounds me. Find beauty in the ordinary.

I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

Anyway, here is to a fabulous three weeks spent as a family in Nelson, BC. Kelowna, we’re coming atcha next for some more spring skiing!

Arriving at the hotel in Winnipeg on our way to BC. Henry instantly jumps on the beds while Alice snuggles in.
Alice in bed with her stuffies.
The only time they get to snuggle and watch TV.
Hotel bathtime.
Keeping busy at the Winnipeg airport before our flight.
On an important buisness call.
Keeping them both happy and at the table at a restaurant is always a challenge!
Intrepid travellers.
Fleeces. Fingers/thumb in. Paw patrol on. Silence for me!
Big horned sheep on the way to Nelson.
Whitewater, we missed you!
Alice’s silly face 🙂

Lunchtime at the chalet.
Always time for a book in the play area.
Morning coffee and Lego.
Sunrise views.
Solo lattes during naptime.
Working off the said latte 🙂
At the community pool!
Nelson’s library and LEGO club which Henry loved.
At a local coffee shop. Books everywhere!
Bedtime snuggles.
Skiing with Blake always means adventures.
As if trying to keep up with him wasn’t enough. He also made me HIKE UP THIS MOUNTAIN CARRYING MY SKIS!
The view was definitely worth it. And of course the turns we got were too!
No kids! Wahoo!
Shotski with our friend Steve.
Both kids in Ski School for the first time!
Skiing with Blake while the kids were in lessons.
Ski date with Henry while Blake trailed Alice on the rope-tow.
Henry dragging me down a black diamond run!
Hot chocolate is always well deserved for this kid!
A few mornings, Alice opted to stay at home with the babysitter so Blake, Henry and I ripped together!
Loving life.
Alice getting ‘sugared up’ before Ski School.
Patio beers are the best part of spring skiing.
Love these morning snuggles. I would go to the gym at 5am, then get back in time for Henry to wake up at 6:30am for a cuddle!
Checking out the sights of Nelson every afternoon with Ada before dinner.
Loving the spring weather!
The kids play area at our fave taco restaurant.
First ice cream of the season.
Driving out to the Ainsworth hot springs.
Beauty day to soak in the hot springs!
Henry and Blake on the chair.
Big mountain. Tiny skier.
Ski day with Henry and Blake.
Keeping up with these two is TOUGH!
Chairlift snuggles.
Look how tiny Henry is on this big, big mountain!
One of our last ski days was an epic bluebird powder day. We left the kids with babysitter and Blake and I had an amazing day together.
I really needed this after a morning of ripping powder!
An afternoon with the kids at one of the awesome parks in town.
Kid joy.
A sunny hike with Henry and Ada.
The explorer.
Our last night in Nelson! After an amazing massage (where I actually fell asleep), I checked into the historic Hume Hotel where they upgraded me (again!) to a suite!
Ohhhh yeahhh!!!!
Sunset from my room’s balcony.
Until next year Whitewater!

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