Perfect Moments

Life is made up a series of choices that lead us down whatever path we find ourselves on. Some things that happen in our lives are not a result of our own choice, but that of another, and sometimes straight-up freak things happen. But even what we do in those freak moments still comes down to choice. I say this not because I don't have compassion for why we make poor choices or because there is always one clear, good choice. I say this for the opposite reason, actually. Life is a lot harder to navigate when you think you know what all the right choices are, not only for yourself, but also for everyone else. 
It's an illusion, really. When you think you know what all the right choices are, it feels very secure and safe. You don't really have to wonder or worry about what to do. You may feel weak or unable to do what you're supposed to do, but you usually have a clear idea about what that is. And if you don't, you usually wait until you do. The problem is, as soon as something happens to you that doesn't fit into that paradigm, you either adapt your worldview to incorporate that reality, deny your reality, or try to make it still fit (insert pithy spiritual band-aids here).
I've already discussed this in one of my very firsts posts about my idea of "lived-in theology." The reason I bring it up tonight is because this reality of choice sometimes is what freezes us from making choices at all. As a perfectionist, I want to make THE RIGHT CHOICE. It's sweet, really, the naivete required to believe that the right choice always exists and that there's only one. And of course, that you're fully capable of making it. It also makes grace unnecessary
The first time I froze in the face of a huge decision without an obvious right/wrong answer was when I got engaged to my beloved Tim. It wasn't that we weren't in love or that I didn't want to get married. Absolutely, both of those things were true. But the idea of getting married meant that those years ahead of me would be married years. Does that make sense? I wanted my season of singleness to continue AND I wanted to be with Tim. But there's no way to be both single and married. We don't get to live in parallel universes. So, I made the choice that I knew I would regret forever if I didn't and got married. 
Here's the thing: I loved being single and I love being married. There are days singleness was wonderful and there were days it was awful. I could say the exact same thing about marriage. As a perfectionist, I'm well aware that life is fleeting and that can sometimes be paralyzing. You want everything to be right! The sad thing is, when we insist on life looking a certain way, we miss some of the most beautiful things about it.
I must say, we've had a terrible week. Penny's been sick, which in our world = shrill toddler. I got a migraine, which led to me spending 19 hours in bed. Tim had a terrible headache today while we were taking our family pictures. It's been rough. But tonight, Penny and I were home alone and of course, she didn't want me to read articles on Fifty Shades of Grey on my phone (seriously, there are so many good articles out!). Penny doesn't care about that. She wanted my full attention. Rather than my usual grumbling about delaying self-care, I decided to embrace it. We had a full-on mommy/baby dance party. And it was awesome. We started it with Adele's version of "To Make You Feel My Love." How poignant her lyrics were to me tonight:
When the rain is blowing in your face,
And the whole world is on your case,
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love.

When the evening shadows and the stars appear,
And there is no one there to dry your tears,
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love.

I know you haven't made your mind up yet,
But I will never do you wrong.
I've known it from the moment that we met,
No doubt in my mind where you belong.

I'd go hungry; I'd go black and blue,
And I'd go crawling down the avenue.
No, there's nothing that I wouldn't do
To make you feel my love.

The storms are raging on the rolling sea
And on the highway of regret.
The winds of change are blowing wild and free,
You ain't seen nothing like me yet.

I could make you happy, make your dreams come true.
Nothing that I wouldn't do.
Go to the ends of the Earth for you,
To make you feel my love
To make you feel my love

Suddenly with that little teething toddler smiling up at me, the days of isolation faded into the background. The health issues, the anxiety, the loneliness became but a memory as my little girl laughed and twirled with me. I don't think we'll ever know what our lives could have been if we had made different choices, or if we'll ever truly know what our lives are supposed to look like. But there are moments, glimpses really, that make it all clear. Everything is perfect RIGHT NOW. There is no perfect life, perfect relationship, perfect choice, but there are perfect moments. And man, did I savor that one. I soaked her up. And then we turned on Rihanna.