On our recent post-tax season trip to Moab, Frank and I had plenty of “windshield time.” It’s that time that only a road trip offers: looking at the road, radio off, both girls asleep, nothing else to do but look at the scenery. Time to talk, to process, to dream.
One topic that came up was our 5 Year Plan. What are our goals and hopes in the coming years? As individuals, as parents, as a couple? One of the things we discussed was me going back to work. In five years, Elle will be in kindergarten. What does that mean for our family?
Right now, it’s easy to get bogged down in the minute and lose sight of the big picture. I often find myself dreaming about what life will be like when…. When the kids are older; when they’re more self-sufficient; when life is quieter. It’s crazy to think that, in five short years, our life as a family will be vastly different.
It’s exciting. But, it’s also a reminder that this crazy stage is fleeting. It’s exhausting but fleeting. In her newest book, Loving My Actual Life, Alexandra Kuykendall reminds me that my life is happening right now.
Alex takes nine months (the length of a school year; the length of a pregnancy) to practice noticing and loving her actual, messy, right now, in this very moment life. She looks for areas that need more intention and she experiments with how to love that part of her life more. Everything from technology to meal planning to passions is covered.
What I love most about these experiments is that they’re relatable. Alex is a mom of four, so the backdrop is that of family, but the premise and wisdom is for anyone. Take time. Notice. Learn. Love where you are. They are experiments that reflect Alex’s particular life, but they are also easily transferable. I think we all could use a social media reset. And, we certainly can all think of nine areas in our own lives that need more intentional noticing.
Alex’s book is conversational and funny. Her stories are woven with universal messages and she is gracious – with herself and her readers. This is, after all, actual life and actual life means failing and trying again and having experiments go in different, unforeseen directions.
Loving My Actual Life releases tomorrow, May 3. I’d say, order a copy in time for Mother’s Day! But, I’d also say, order a copy for any friend – married, single, mom, grandma, kidless. This is a book for all of us, because we all need to love our actual lives.
What are ways you love your actual life? If you could pick an area to work on, what part of your life would you want to love more?
As part of Alex’s launch team, I received an advance copy of this book. All opinions are my own.