I’m a woman who tries to cram too much into her days, and my family suffers for it. As My Guy prepared dinner last night and the Little Butt clamored for my attention, I typed furiously, answering emails, wrapping up invitations I’d promised clients, replying to the constant barrage of texts, and trying to complete “just one more” project after another.
In the midst of my frenzy, My Guy asked me to look something up on YouTube and I put him off for “just a second.” I still don’t know what he wanted to show me. The Little Butt came running into the kitchen to say, “Hi, Mom!” and give me a squeeze and I barely acknowledged him. I’d have time soon enough.
After everyone was in bed and as I laid my head down on the pillow, it struck me how little I’d actually seen my son yesterday. True, I’d been with him from sunup to sundown, but had I truly been present? Hardly.
I’ve got time, I told myself. He’s only two. I’ve got 16 more years to be present.
Then it hit me. With an attitude like that, I’d allowed countless moments during the first 11% of his time in our home slip by. And who’s to say I’ll actually be blessed to have a child that lives a normal life and reaches maturity?
All I have is this exact moment.
During the first months of our marriage, I freaked out about lots of little things. (I still do, but that’s fodder for another post.) At one point, My Guy sat me down and said, “We are in the first five minutes of our marriage. Relax. We will work these things out.”
That is great advice for a worrier, but sometimes as a doer I focus on the remaining “hours” we have together and take time with My Guy for granted. How many moments with him have I lost because of my focus on a project or because I chose to enter the comatose state of a couch potato?
Life is a flower, a sunset, a concert—if I don’t catch it in the moment, that moment is lost forever. Nothing living remains the same.
I truly don’t know how to turn my driven self into someone who is present, but today I’m going to look into the faces of my boys and cherish the fact that I have these moments. Then tomorrow I will do it again, and again, until it becomes who I am. I will fail and at times I will be the half-present wife and mom on the laptop, but I will brush the distractions from my eyes and begin again.
Today I will be present.