Monday, October 31, 2011

Now



"Is it tomorrow now, Mum?"
If you have ever tried to answer that question (or a similar one) asked by a 4 year old boy, then you will understand the confused quandary we both found ourselves in. After all; 'We were going to the beach tomorrow and if it's today then we can't go to the beach.' 'When can we go to the beach then, if it is always today and never tomorrow?' 'Will we ever do all the things we are going to do tomorrow?'

Hmmmmmm.............

I just don't think he understands the concept of yesterday, today and tomorrow. But then sometimes I wonder if I do either. I often find myself predicting, worrying about and planning tomorrow, 'I don't know how I'll be organized in time.' 'Maybe I should stay home instead of going to that event tomorrow.' 'What if such and such happens?' etc. Even worse I find myself re-living the past in my mind, 'I should have done this.' 'Why did I say that.' 'They must think I'm a total loop-head now.' etc. You get the picture.

The reality hits me every now and then. I can't live tomorrow yet. Yesterday is already gone so why bother wasting my time fretting over it. All I can do is live now. NOW is all I have. Sure I can make a phone call to make amends for a misunderstanding that occurred yesterday - but I have to do that now, not continue to worry about yesterday. Sure I can make a list and be prepared for tomorrow - but that has to happen now, it doesn't help to continue stressing about what tomorrow might hold.

NOW, it's always now. Right now I can make a list, write a note to a friend or whatever, but enjoy the now and not worry and fret.

It's a truly remarkable thing, now. It's always here and waiting to be enjoyed and noticed. Living in the now takes practice. I don't know about you but my mind is so used to doing at least 5 things at once that it finds it hard to stop and just be, just enjoy the moment, be completely present, NOW. Unfortunately my children get used to asking me a question 5 times before I finally hear what they say. I think I hear them but my mind is not present, it's flown off somewhere else, and I ask them to repeat the question. Finally I realize that I have to come back to earth, here, now and listen or else I'm just not going to get it. Oh. . . it clicks, I finally understand what they are asking - just 4 times too late!


Being in the present - living in the now - making my mind aware of what I am actually doing at this very moment is so worthwhile. It creates memories. I've wondered why some events stick out so clearly in my memory and others have faded into oblivion. I really believe that the moments I'm totally present, the moments I notice what I'm doing, the moments I truly notice where I am and who I'm with, the moments I take in the smells, sounds and sights fully, are the moments I remember the best. (Oh and photos help jog the old memory on other occasions as well, thankfully.)

Although the definition of being present may indicate a physical presence is what is required. I find that I need to be aware of my mental presence. I may be there physically but mentally I'm far away. This is especially true in my role of Mother. After all there are so many mundane, repetitive tasks which just happen on autopilot and I think that's good. It makes the endless loads of washing and nappies to change just happen without me really being aware it's happening - good. But when I am changing those nappies it's all too easy to forget to notice the cute, chubby, little face smiling up at me. Or I can sit outside and watch the children riding their bikes but have no real idea of what's going on - my mind is planning dinner, organizing tomorrow's lunches and planning the emails I have to send. Then a year later I find I have very little recollection of those days, I forget what the children where like at those younger ages. I really want to capture those memories and hold them close to my heart forever so. . . .

My mission for this week is to be present. To live NOW.
How:
  • Consciously take notice of details - smell, feel, temperature, sounds etc.
  • Totally listen and notice when I'm being spoken too - or ask them to wait a moment till I can give my full attention.
  • Daily take an observation challenge - look around me and notice all the details I can as if I was taking a mental picture of something (do this with your children and it's so much fun)
  • Jot down notes to get thoughts out of my head and act on those notes when I can.
  • Look people in the eye when I'm talking to them - even my little bub.
  • Read bedtime stories with expression, rather than the I've-got-a-dozen-better-things-to-be-doing monotone.
That's a good start anyway. So join me if you will on a mission to live NOW. I think we will enjoy life more in the process as well.


2 comments:

  1. Thank you for the encouragement! I want to live in the NOW. Hoping to give my full attention to my children and really hear what they are saying. I hope to take the time to respond appropriately to show them I have listened. I needed that! My children do too. Thank you.

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  2. Corinna! You are an inspiration!!! I will be popping in here heaps to learn more about you!! Love your work! Christine Delaney

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