Loving My Actual Life

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.

12512411_10208144234217534_6513410687910768109_nIt’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.

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9 thoughts on “Loving My Actual Life

  1. Great post.

    One of the things I’ve realized, when people ask how far I’ve gotten in my ‘bucket list’ (which is a weird question to ask a terminally ill dude, but they mean well)…uh, where was I?

    Oh. Right. If your bucket list doesn’t pretty much resemble your life right now, you’ve got some thinking to do.

    If I had a choice between going back to the Grand Canyon one more time, and sitting on the floor with the service dogs, smoking a cigar and watching a DVD I’ve seen before, it would be no contest.

    Got a light?

    1. Thanks! I so love your reminder of taking each day as special. I loved our family trip to Moab – the memories we had and the time together were priceless. But we also just installed a bigger bookshelf in the girls’ playroom and have been spending the day rereading old favorites that had been in storage. Truly incredible.

  2. Speaking of book launches, I had one this week…’Emerald Isle’ made its unlikely journey to daylight. Had a lot of help, and learned that writing is really about community if it’s about anything at all.

    And so is life.

    If you’re interested, the launch-day post is up on my blog.

  3. It seems to crazy to think we miss the right now but I know I do. I’m thinking about the next thing that needs to be done, planned or answered. I find it challenging to live “in the now” when now doesn’t last 😉 But I completely agree with finding contentment in our right now lives. I find gratitude when I practice that. I love the flexibility of my right now life and the people we work with but I sure need to work on loving, or just accepting, some of the ‘stuff’ that often comes with big organizations.

    1. I bet, especially during conference season. 😉 Isn’t it funny that, though the details of life change, it’s still easy to forget to love these small moments?

  4. Great review. I’m looking forward to reading this! Excellent point that this stage is fleeting. It never feels like that! But then I don’t have a five year plan. Perhaps that would help me! Thanks for posting on the link up, that helped me find you! 🙂

  5. Thanks Annie. You have been a great cheerleader in this journey and a companion in the conversation. Tomorrow won’t look like today. Sometimes, okay a lot of times, that sounds like good news. But even if different sounds good, I don’t want to miss what God has for me today.

    1. It’s easy to cheer you, friend! I love seeing how your words have resonated with so many. Such a balance – living in the moment; living with hope for tomorrow; cherishing redos but also remembering that right now matters. Welcome to motherhood – and life… 😉

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