On Mother's Day I woke up with a resolve to be fully present. Instead of rushing around and trying to check things off my list, obsessing over getting the laundry done, or trying to be productive ... I opened my eyes to the moment. Put the full weight of my attention into the moment ~ engaged. Grateful. Because when you are present to the moment, it almost demands gratefulness.
And as I was present, I saw my children. Not like I see them every day, I truly saw them.
I smelled the warm sunshine in their hair.
I noticed the slight pudge in Lucy's sweet four year old hands, which will sadly soon disappear.
I saw Ingrid's excitement and nervousness equal as she put on her brand new pair of blue glasses.
I watched the last nine minutes of the Warriors beating the Spurs. I cheered like a schoolgirl while cuddling with DJ on the couch.
I held Lucy in my lap ... because any time I am sitting down, she crawls up into my lap. And on days that I am busy, sometimes I find myself telling her to sit on her own ... because I need to get something done, or because I think she should learn to sit by herself. And yesterday I delighted in the fact that she wanted me.
I ate chocolate donuts with the girls at the donut shop, and ignored how bad they are for me.
I weeded dandelions in the front lawn and felt the warmth on my shoulders.
I baked a flourless chocolate cake and licked the bowl clean. And ate a slice before dinner.
I watched the afternoon sunlight stream through my window and thanked God for this little slice of heaven I get to live in.
I drank a Kentucky Mule and reveled in the taste of the nutty brown bourbon.
I snuggled with my kids as they watched a show on Netflix in the early evening, noting how they giggled at the simplest of things. Drinking it in. Knowing it was fleeting. They won't always be so easy to get a giggle out of.
I laughed at Ingrid's made up jokes ... even though they didn't make sense. But her eyes sparkle when she tells jokes, and I can't help but encourage her childlike wonder.
I broke from my normal "Castle on a Cloud'" bedtime song, which is a nightly ritual to the girls, to sing them "You'll Always Be" by the Drew Holcomb band. It makes me feel warm, fuzzy, and nostalgic because I sang it to DJ on our ten year anniversary last year.
I still felt the struggle of the day. I still felt the tension of kids fighting, dishes piling up, and worries on the edge of my mind. But I tried to engage in the tension of the current moment. Whatever it was.
And as I laid in bed at night, I was grateful. I wondered how could I wake up Monday morning and keep it going. Stay present. Be grateful. Not get washed away in the normal Monday grind - rush to get the girls up, get Ingrid out to the bus, load Lucy in the car, drop her off at a friends' house, rush off to my Monday morning church staff meeting ~ while simultaneously thinking about my grocery list, undone laundry, photography sessions that needed editing, when I was going to squeeze in a workout, checking email ... doesn't this all seem familiar? Please tell me I'm not the only one rushed into the torrent of to-do's that hits you hard on Monday morning!
So I don't have the answer. I don't have any "quick tips" or "three easy steps to being more grateful", but I do know that yesterday I somehow did it. And it was almost magical. So real it was almost surreal. I turned of the overactive, practical Mama and business owner brain for a day. I shut off social media and email. And I engaged fully. And I found it so deeply refreshing.
So, for now, I will do my best to keep coming back to the present. To engaging in the moment. At the very least, I will take one day a week to shut it down. To rest. To take a family day. A sabbath. Where I shut off all distractions. And live present. Grateful.
What a gift. Life is such a gift. And I spent so many of my growing years dreaming of the moment when I would have a husband, and children, and a house. And here I am. And I don't want to miss it. I don't want to miss a darn minute. It's too precious.
Life is beautiful. I hope I can see that. Even today. Even on Monday.
It was summed up well in the last lines of the novel I finished last night in bed, "...she was actually savoring the whole morning, trying to catch it, pin it down, keep it safe before all those precious moments became yet another memory."
*** I highly recommend the novel! One of the best I've read in a long, long time. "What Alice Forgot", by Liane Moriarty.