Sunday, September 06, 2009

In the moment

Time flies. Because that's such an overused cliche, it shows that many people have this experience. Of course time moves the same for everyone. But many of us feel we are rushing through life, especially people my age. When I was in high school and it was January, I sure didn't feel like time was flying. Maybe other people equally imprisoned by circumstances don't think it to be true either. But this has been bothering me for awhile. I look at my little girls growing up so quickly. It's frightening to think summer is over already, and this year is on it's way out!

When you're young you know you have a limited number of days on this earth, but there are just so many of them (you think) that you don't need to analyze this reality, and it's okay to waste some of these days. But I often think now about the finite number of years I have left and in the words of a song, "I don't want to miss a thing." I don't want to throw even one day away. So how do we put the brakes on a life careening ahead to its final destination?

I need to be in the moment. Not thinking about what is happening next week or that night or even the next hour. I tell myself to slow down! I practiced this on Friday. I am a task-doer. I have things to do and all day long I do them. Always thinking about the next task and how to efficiently complete it. I miss so much that way. My kids will remember me as busy, busy, busy, always doing. So last Friday, this is what we tried instead:

I sat next to Arielle at the computer while she did math and instead of looking ahead to see how many more problems she had left so we could get on to the next task, I enjoyed watching her work. What a gift to have my daughter beside me, helping her grasp the concepts and work the problems. I took the moment, pondered it, held on to it.

We walked to the mailbox and I noticed the the cool breeze that has come with September and what a perfectly heavenly day it was, sunny, with the late summer chorus of cicadas. On the back porch I found a perfectly whole, dead cricket, a female with an ovipositor, and I brought it inside to show Liana since she is studying insects and had just learned about the ovipositor!

Later, Marissa came over and I had laundry to fold and dishes to wash, but I just sat at the table with her and the girls and talked. I made her some gazpacho to try but mostly we did nothing but enjoy the evening. (I feel like I'm becoming my mother. She loves to sit and talk and, come to think of it, she used to be so busy too. But she has learned to slow down.)

Liana set up a Polly Pocket town and she wanted to show me who lived where and what each little house was for. These toys are very old. Marissa had given Liana her childhood collection. I didn't look for a way out of the doll talk but engaged in it. Liana wondered why there were no black haired dolls and I couldn't adequately answer that. (Toy companies weren't concerned about political correctness back then.)

At night I got both girls to bed, an accomplishment no matter how old your kids are, and then I noticed there was a full moon with a very bright star next to it. I went on-line to see what that "star" was. It was Jupiter! So I got the girls back out of bed so we could look outside at God's wonders.

One day of being in the moment. Not rushing, just holding and examining the treasures of life. The past is full of regret, best left alone. The future is uncertain for us all. But we have right now and this was a perfect day. I need something to remind me to stop when I'm tempted to DO rather than just to BE.

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