Thursday, May 15, 2014

Here is something I'm practicing:

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It's such an easy thing to talk about being happy with where you are. But it's equally as easy to see something else up ahead, and want to rush and be there. Being a mother has given me so many gifts, but perhaps one of the greatest gifts has been this daily practice of slowing down. It's hard to explain, but to me at least, because I see time slipping by every single day with all of the changes my these babies go through (crawling, standing up, walking, talking- it's all so fast), I feel like I have this a very clear view and a very strong pull to stay in the now, and just be in the now. But at the same time it's so very hard to do so. So I'm working on that lately, practicing just being here. It sounds so simple but really, it's hard to just be. It takes focus. When I'm playing with the boys I'm playing with the boys. No distractions, no phone, please. I try to clear my head and just play, stop thinking about what I read earlier or what I have to do later. Watch Charlie's face as he discovers something new, see Henry run and jump and swing off the monkey bars. Things I normally see and do but all of this without being somewhere else, even half of me. Presence is a gift my children deserve and I want to always be mindful of this. When I'm sitting here writing words I try and do the same. Close the door (it's almost always nighttime and everyone is asleep anyway), keep the lights low and just try and capture whatever it is right here in this box. Or on those pages. When I'm cooking I want to really cook, to taste the lemon I'm squeezing over the dish, to smell the garlic simmering on the stove. I don't know, it all sounds so silly to type out but recently I've just felt like I want more out of every experience I have. It's been such a weird year, so much loss and this past month there's been so much more. 2014 has been a strange one, I've never been happier but also never experienced a lot of the emotions I've been feeling. And in the middle of the spectrum, one end happy and one end so sad, there's a great awakening in there. Something reminding me that none of us know what's next or how much time we have. And without dipping into the most cliched version of myself I have to say that all I can think about is how short this all is, and even shorter when we realize that there are no guarantees. This whole idea has its own spectrum too, with a very happy side (you only live once, so do it all) and a very sad side (you only live once, you can't do it all) and I think right now I'm just in the middle of that too, paddling my way along and figuring out what I can do, and being reminded with every loss of a friend or family member, or family member of a friend, that we don't even know how much time we have in our hourglass that's constantly emptying. So while I'm here I just want to be here, you know? So that's what I'm practicing right now- practicing the art of really being where I am and really doing what I do.

How about you?


17 comments:

  1. Christy BridwellMay 15, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    Danielle, I have not been on your blog in a few months and coming back I cannot truly express how perfect this post was to come across tonight. You nailed it. I have been feeling the same way yet somehow unable to express that awareness. Caught somewhere in between. Reaching for the perfect balance between taking every single moment in wholly while grasping at the moments that are slipping by so fast. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Very powerful. Thank you for this reminder... it is very easy to be distracted as a mom/parent/person. And it is very true that the little moments slip by so fast. Good luck to you, just keep working on it! We all should be :) As always great post Danielle.
    LifeIsPeaches

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  3. Remembering your children so young is very hard. I always triedt o stay 'in the now' with my children but because life is so hectic, I can't actually remember much of it! Especially my eldest. she is 10 in two weeks and I can barely remember what she was like. Video record as much as you can. They say pictures are the treasured memories, but you cannot see them move in movies. You can't see the way they move their eyes. their lips, speak, laugh etc. Set up a camera and film them playing, set up a camera and film yourself playing with them. That is truly something wonderful to look back on. I did it a few times with my eldest and I watch the videos of she and I playing with tea cups and it's so lovely. Though I can't watch it often because it's quite bittersweet

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  4. I am thinking and doing it the same way, just being here and now it is the only reality we truly have.

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  5. It's so hard to be fully present in each moment, especially with that tiny flashing screen at our fingertips. I agree- presence is the greatest gift you can give someone. I was playing with a little kid the other day who pulled a brick out of his pocket and said 'I'm just checking my emails.' We owe them a better model than that! Thank you for your writing- perfect as always. :)

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  6. ahhh, this is really so good. Thank you for the reminder. I think of this often, and yet I find new reasons that it is hard as I have had more kids and they get older. Like, I wish i could focus on everyone at once, and sometimes, as sad as it sounds, I feel like if I can't give everyone what they want, it is easier to just tune out or go be alone. Agh, never a simple solution, but I am trying to realize that whoever I am focused on at that moment, needs to be my greatest focus.
    Anyways, I hear ya. ;) Great words. Aloha

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  7. I love this. I think we all struggle with this, to different degrees and at different times, but it's something we all go through. Now that my kids are getting a little older, I am able to multi-task a little bit more, but being present is still so very important, and something I desperately need to work on.

    I deactivated my personal Facebook account this past Monday, in an effort to better focus my time on other aspects of "REAL" life that are *actually* important. It was a decision I contemplated for months, but was able to easily make in a single instant, and a decision I haven't regretted once yet. I have so much more time to do...whatever...and it's much less traumatizing and way more liberating than I thought it'd be.

    Your sentence, "Presence is a gift my children deserve and I want to always be mindful of this," reminded me of a quote from Jesse Jackson I saw awhile back: "Your children need your presence more than your presents," and I thought it fit perfectly here. Never mind the whole double entendre thing with your presence also being a present (gift) to your kids ;)

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  8. Oh this is so good. I have felt the same way recently and could not agree more. Life is just full of surprises and I always want to feel like I am present and really enjoying each and every moment.

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  9. I am a first time mommy, and have been following your blog for some time now, and this post really hit home. Sometimes things gets so frustrating, bills, money, etc; I just go into my room, lay out his big play mat, turn on some music, let the sun in, and relax and play with my little boy. Those are the times that I realize how important these little moments really are. <3

    xx

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  10. This was such a wonderful reminder. I'm not a mom yet, but this idea to slow down and be present is important for everyone. :)

    ♥ Naomi Starry Eyes + Coffee Cups

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  11. I am really trying to stop having my phone in everything. I love love love social media but it definitely takes away from life and really experiencing the things around. So there are times where I am trying to just set it off to the side for a while and really take in the moment.

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  12. I feel just like this too. I sometimes find myself catching by breath at the thought of how quickly time passes and I really want to make the most of it, to be in the moment, truly in the moment, not spending it thinking about the past/future/whatever else happens to be on my mind. I don't want to miss any of it because, as you so beautifully wrote, we don't know what's going to happen, there are no guarantees.

    Anna xx | The Girl In The Moon

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  13. As a new mom, this post really resonates with me. It's so hard to not get too excited for the future (baby eating solids and crawling, etc), and while those things will be wonderful, it's so important to remember to stay in (and enjoy) the present moment. Thanks for a great post!

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  14. It's funny, in the ironic sort of way, how just when you need something it appears , if you're paying attention. I always was a proud, proud multitasker. I could juggle many balls, projects, assignments, cases, life events etc. a little illness last summer brought years of juggling to a screeching halt. What I realized in that down time was how much I had missed out on good and bad. By multitasking I never, ever gave my full attention to anything. I never enjoyed something just because it was...I was trying to figure out what was next...always what was next. So now I'm all about one thing at a time, focus, pay attention, enjoy, taste, love, live because either way YOLO!

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  15. I really, really love this. Such good solid advice, be present in all the things you do.

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  16. I truly love this post, thank you! What you say is so true. Whenever I need a reminder at what you said in your posts, I just watch https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2010/10/the-transforming-power-of-faith-and-character?lang=eng. This post seems way off topic of what you said, but it helps remind me of the points you made.

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  17. love this. i wish i could say more but sometimes you don't need to.

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