Be Here, Get There

As part of a virtual weight-loss support group (I’m not actively trying to lose weight right now, but my friends are and I love them and think they are hysterical so we’re all in this together), my friend Barbara shared something from www.zenhabits.net called “How to Make the Most of the Fresh Start of a New Year.”  It reminded me of what I should be doing every day– focusing on where I am in the moment.

In general, I kind of stink at this.  I always have a to do list in my head– “Okay, now I need to make the bed and then get clean clothes for Madeline and feed the dogs and empty the dishwasher”–  instead of fully focusing on whatever it is I might be doing at that moment.  Part of it is feeling like I never have enough time to do all of the things I need to do, which is almost certainly a false pressure because while I have lots of things I should or could do, really the most important and only absolutely necessary thing is to take care of the girls.  And taking care of them is an ongoing job, so when I should be completely focused on them, I’m often busy thinking about making beds and finding clean clothes and feeding the dogs and emptying the dishwasher.

I imagine that is a common issue for mothers of young children.  There is a lot to do just to keep them safe, clean, warm and fed and then there’s all of this other “stuff.”  I should relish every second I get to spend just being their mommy, but I don’t.  Partially because sometimes it is so all fired boring.  How many times can I do the peek-a-boo bag and look for the elephant and the lady bug?  How many times can I draw a straight line? (M likes it when I draw straight lines — “Mommy draw straight line!”)

So I will try to be here in every moment.  Step one – be here and write this post, instead of thinking about how I should be doing the peek-a-boo bag or drawing a straight line. (PS I did take a break and send an email in the midst of writing.)

Barb’s post also reminded me of another shortcoming and therefore another goal– get there.  I start lots of things and feel like they never get completed or come to any purposeful end.  I often feel that way about writing.  In my year in Boston Teachers Write (a program that no longer exists), my essays started strong and snarky.  My colleagues told me that they liked the scenarios, the voice.  But as I worked on the essays, I got bored and wanted to abandon the concepts.  I felt like my own writing had something to say, but I could never say it.  I never got “there.”  This could be just my perception.  Do these blog posts get “there”?

So that’s the other thing I’m working on– getting “there”, making my mental plans into reality.  I confess, I don’t know what that looks like in terms of my writing.   But right now, I can’t be “here” anymore.  I have to help M and I’m going to try and only do that for a few minutes.

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