Follow by Email

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Living (& Parenting) in the Moment

Earlier today I was enjoying building block towers with my Munchkin. At the same time, I was thinking ahead to the things I wanted to do tonight, after she went to bed. I felt a pang of guilt, but it was immediately followed by the realization - "I've never been able to live 100% in the moment. Why would I be any different as a parent?"

There have been 3 discrete experiences in my adult life that I can recall truly being in the moment. By "being in the moment" - I mean not having any thoughts of anything else, not how it relates to the past or how you'll speak of it in the future.

  • 1&2 - snorkeling
  • 3 - birth of my daughter

1&2 lasted only a couple hours. 3, of course, lasted several. In each, I only realized I'd had the experience after it ended. I have tried to replicate the feeling in yoga classes, mediation, and just daily life. I've come close. But I have never had that utter absorption to the point of excluding all else.

That is not to say I don't enjoy my life. Far from it. It's just that worries, plans, and others creep in to my head regardless of the primary task at hand.

Actually, as I've learned more about meditation (if not always successfully practiced it), I've realized that an excellent goal is to be able to just let those other thoughts roll through your mind - not to fight them. 
  • When that pang of guilt hit, I was pleased to note that the closest I come to singular experiences now are when I'm with my family. There's nothing quite like seeing the world through the eyes of a toddler to approximate living in the moment! And getting to do that with my best friend is icing on a yummy cake!
  • Just now I realized that I had simply let the moment wash over me. I did not stop to ponder or kick myself ... or whatever. I just went right back to the tower of blocks.
Once again - here's to the finding the joy in the small stuff & not sweating it. Getting better & better ... one step at a time.

1 comment:

  1. I love the picture of her booking it down the sidewalk! Go D go! As for thinking not feel guilty. Feel proud that you do so (and even more proud that you get right back to blocks). Think how many parents or people don't think ahead. The world needs people like us, and I totally don't mean for that to sound so snotty! I love the way my daughter has taught me to see the world - the simplest little things are a wonder to her! Great post, I really enjoyed it!