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Monday, June 21, 2010

"Happiness is not in another place, but this place....not for another hour, but this hour."
--Walt Whitman

Recently, I've tried to focus a great deal on the here and now vs. what's coming or what's happened. This is easier said than done for obvious reasons: (1) there's a lot of crap from my past that I have to go back and look at in order not to make the same mistakes again (2) there's a lot of uncertainty about the future and who I'll be when I grow up, and (3) we are not wired to just be in the moment (in particular, I am not wired that way.)
While it might be a difficult task, I am trying in earnest to focus on the now more often. Outside of to-do lists and checklists and pieces to make and pieces to think about, I have this little reminder each day who helps me be in the now: my son.
Children have this amazing way of not having any clue what's coming up next, or not even caring much about it. While I try to scoot Evan to the car to get to school on time, he's on the floor of the car looking for dropped Fruit Snacks. When he finds one, he pulls it up gleefully and shouts, "Mom! Guess what I found?!"
He has no interest in what time it is or that we will be late for school, no care that I am irritated and absolutely no worries about such things. I believe that our children come to us to teach us something about ourselves, to help us change the little things that tend to creep their way in over time and influence our thinking about the here and now.
Do I have a huge to do list? Yes. Yes, I do.
Am I worried that it won't all get done? Sometimes I am.
Instead of letting myself get whipped up into a frenzy inside about it, I tell myself "I can only do so much in a day." It actually helps to calm me down and helps me recenter on the things that are important.
This morning, my son woke me up with a Chuck E Cheese crown on his head and a flashlight. "Mommy, let's play super heroes," he said happily. I resisted the temptation to get up and get moving. Instead, I grabbed the flashlight and spent 5 minutes running around the house with a really neat little boy.
I may not have a cape or magic powers, but 5 minutes was all my son needed to have a little fun with his mommy.
And the lesson to me was an invaluable one.

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