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Finding peace in chaos

I rush to get my to-do list done before a meeting, quickly running down the steps and head out the door. Walking through the streets after our recent snow storm, my feet are already wet and now cold.

In my continued efforts not to be late for my meeting, I walk quickly, but not so fast as to fall. I am stopped by one of Burlington Northern's constant trail of trains. Of course. I think only of how this will certainly make me late, and I don't have time in my day to be late.

I keep up only by constantly going and accomplishing. This is how I maintain my busy work/life/mom balance.

I stand at the red and white crosswalk gate, peering down the tracks to see no end in sight. The pesky rail cars begin a slow, screeching halt.

My mind is screaming "Nooooo, I have a meeting to get to and when I get back, a column to write."

Just then a car alarm begins and doesn't stop. Other pedestrians are starting to gather and I find myself standing there in the winter cold in a new found silence.

I take an involuntary moment to merely breathe. I observe the cars as they pass, and for those six to seven minutes, I think about how quickly my life is going by. My life is full of an abundance of unique challenges in taking care of my son with Williams syndrome, but it is also a complicated blessing that is flying by too quickly.

In this cold moment, I relax. Is this what the life of a mom is supposed to be? A train has to stop me to slow me down? I wasn't lounging in a chair somewhere, not at a movie, not having an adult beverage of some kind, but just standing there in the snow and cold air. Watching the cars pass me by, one by one, where have they been, where are they going?

Where have you been as a parent? Better yet, where are you going? Have you slowed down long enough to consider this? Have you considered less is more? Have you taken time out for them like you should?

I have renewed my personal goals to not simply make it through a day, but to appreciate even the tiniest of blessings in my life and to understand that challenges in life are there to teach me, guide me and develop me into the person I am supposed to be and to understand that we are never done learning and growing.

Someone once told me, "When you're done growing, you're done living." So here's to learning, growing and to the forced moments of reflection.

Even while in the company of a loud train, a car alarm blasting and sounds of crunching feet approaching in the snow - I found peace among chaos.