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The Daily Struggle

“Carmen, you outdid yourself.”

“That’s the best reason to get up in the morning, Player… to do it better than you’ve ever done it before.”

~The Tigress, Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?

My kids have been borderline obsessed with Carmen Sandiego lately. It’s prompted some great discussions about geography and history. This particular exchange has been echoing in my brain quite often. I’ve found myself asking if I have that goal. Do I aim to be more surrendered, more of a conduit for God’s love, more present and authentic with anyone I come in contact with? I have a yearly goal that by the end of the year I would have gotten better at those things, but I don’t think I ever have a daily goal to do better than I’ve ever done before. Frankly, most days, my only goal is just to get through the day without a) losing my mind from pain/exhaustion, b) doing absolutely zero chores, and c) being a horrible mother. Somehow my world regularly shrinks to where I live in survival mode. This is not to say that it’s always survival mode–there are moments and hours where I can hang onto how much I love my life and the things God is doing.

Anyway, as I’ve been meditating on this quote, I’ve been wondering what it would look like if I got up every morning determined to do better than I’ve ever done before–not to get my house cleaner, etc., etc., etc., but to be more surrendered, more present in each moment… more fully myself… to live each moment deliberately, as Henry Thoreau would say.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” (Walden, [New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1910], 118)

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