When I started out on a road trip with my kids last week I felt a mixture of excitement and apprehension. We had plans, but I didn’t know exactly where we would go or what we would do – we were freewheeling somewhat.
Unsurprisingly, during the long drive to Armidale my daughter complained of being bored. It occurred to me that being bored is easy. On the other hand, paying attention to the unique, sometimes subtle distinctions that exist between things takes effort – there really are no two trees that are exactly alike, nor two clouds or two cows… noticing their individual qualities requires looking deeply, with curiosity.
Before we pulled up at home, I asked the kids what had been the most memorable part of our holiday. My second son exclaimed without hesitation, “The pillow fight we had in Gloucester!” For all my adult concepts of what makes a good holiday, what came up trumps, was us smashing each other senseless with bags of feathers!
So what can we glean from my daughter’s boredom and my son’s enthusiasm?
I learnt that seizing every opportunity to be fully present with those I love and choosing to be aware of the particularities of the world around me, while letting go of preconceived ideas, brings me pure unadulterated joy!
So, grab a pillow now!!