I’ve had this blog post swirling around in my mind for over a year now. Although I’m writing it while on vacation with my husband and two son’s, it is actually the hum of my life, pretty much each and EVERY day.

Why don’t I walk you through a typical twenty four hours of this family vacation and tell me if anything seems familiar. It could be just me.

I wake up early and do my meditation. My youngest son joins me before the “totally realistic” Tibetian bell rings on my iPhone app. We snuggle.

All is well with the world.

Mom, can I have breakfast? And can you bring me icy cold water? And get my book out of my room? Can you turn this light on?

Here is where I do my best to connect to my desire to live a life of service.

Just breathe.

Teenage son wakes up and shares what seems like a friendly grunt. So far so good. Boys are now sitting on the couch reading together.

This is a lovely moment. Soak it in.

The bickering begins. No need to analyze what is causing the commotion. It’s awful. I raise my voice. My youngest tells me I shouldn’t be allowed to teach mindfulness because I can’t always stay calm.

Mental stories abound as to how we have failed as parents and human beings.

Morning continues in this fashion. Up. Down. Up. Down

Parents, the only solution to this madness is to pack up and GO OUTSIDE! I have no idea why siblings are kinder to each other the moment you step out of the house but this is a well know fact. It likely won’t last, but you will get a reprieve. Go. Save yourself and your sanity.

No, it doesn’t matter where you go. Just leave.

Off we go. Fingers crossed.

We choose to drive an hour to a deserted beach. 90’s hip hop songs are sung in unison in the back seat.

See, we can be a nice normal loving family.

Let’s stop for lunch mid way there. No one can agree on what to eat. Husband storms off. Food supplies are purchased from three different cafe’s due to food allergies and simple obnoxiousness.

Why is my life so complicated? It’s just LUNCH.

Secluded beach is everything we hoped for. Views are breathtaking. Boys are playing at the water’s edge. We snap a family photo.

I’m the luckiest person on the planet. Feeling grateful.

Taking mental note of how blessed I am.

We stop for dinner on the way home. Someone can’t stand how someone else runs his tongue on his braces to clean them while he is eating. This is apparently a major insult and something so gross and wrong that it requires a loud voice to make clear how horrible this behavior is.

Heads turn. I turn red. Will this ever end? Can I please not be in this moment.

I’ll take any other moment.

Back in the car. We play a family favorite car ride game. Laughter ensues.

I’m appreciating humor, smiles, and this point in time. Also grinning at how much I prefer the pleasant moments over the unpleasant ones.

Back to our condo and everyone is getting ready for bed. Showers, comfy pj’s, and a family movie. I’m noticing the sun kissed cheeks of my kiddos. Everyone is tired.

Conscious of the up and down rhythm of the day.

Desiring to embrace all that is. As it is.

Grateful for the power of awareness.

Seeing myself and life as a work in progress. Moment by precious moment.

Time for bed. Surrendering to sleep. Thankful for a full life.

Everything is fine until it isn’t. Then it is again.

Originally published at medium.com