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I am on a path to living in the present moment. It is in my mind and in my heart. Yet daily I fight against my urge to barrel through a never ending list in my head and accomplish as much as possible. All of which distract me from these moments. And from life.
I read a post that passed by my Facebook page a while ago. It urged others to not judge the ‘iphone Mom’. She’s exhausted. I can relate. I find myself at the park, after a morning of spit, stink, and screaming. The kids are finally not pulling and whining and I have a moment. So I habitually reach for my phone to use this moment ‘wisely’ and make the most of it.
I’m working on being present in those moments. To feel those moments, rather than push them away with more thoughtless- thinking. Yes, I care you just got a puppy and your baby now has four teeth. But not right now.
Right now, my children are happily playing and I will be fully present in this moment. Breathe the air. Slow my heart. Feel the chill on my cheeks. Watch them laugh. And just be.
It is hard for me and a conscious effort right now. I am a Task-Master Mom. I am preoccupied by time, tasks and to-dos. I feel a constant need to hurry. I’ve always been like this but distinctly felt the pressure grow after having my second baby. He was miserable. He was a horrible napper, screamed through every car ride and kept me up all night. If my daughter and I spent a moment too long getting ready, after he was in his car seat, he would erupt and not stop. I remember one day getting in the car quickly, and finally leaving the driveway without crying. So rare. In the time it took to stop and wait for a pedestrian to pass, he lost it. During this stage of my life, I couldn’t jeopardize wasting a second. So, I had no patience and rushed through every activity. “Get in the car, NOW!” was my typical demand to my curious 3 year old, who just wanted to get a closer look at that ant hill.
I hate wasted time or being idle. My mind constantly races, “Take out garbage, sweep floor, and collect puzzle all while the water boils.” My poor, patient friends and husband listen, and hang in there, while three ideas fight to come from my mouth at once. Some claim they can “talk Kristin.” Humorous. But I’m exhausted. And I’m beginning to realize how much of life I am missing.
So, I’m trying to slow down. Task less. Talk less. And just be.
A few weeks ago we went to the aquarium. It would be a true challenge to slow down. A Big day. A lot to see. A full schedule to keep. Task mastering pressure began to build immediately.
‘Arrive at 1pm
Snack at 2pm
Beluga show at 2:45
Leave by 4pm.
Can’t forget to see penguins this time…And the sloth… She loves the sloth.’
I found myself ushering The Little Lady away from each tank as soon as she caught a glimpse of the spectacularly coloured sea creatures. The poor child just wanted to watch them flip and spin and stare. She didn’t care if we saw the show, or ate snacks before the Lil Guy lost his mind or left in time to miss traffic. She just wanted to stop and enjoy this moment. So I forced myself imitate her, to stop managing this task and just be in the moment. To watch. To listen. To enjoy her enjoyment.
This is what I work towards each day: Being present in these moments. Being present in life. I watch my children and learn from them. They are the best teachers.
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