I’ve been tossing around the idea of a themed Monday post. Mindfulness is something I’ve been practicing since my second pregnancy; many nights staring at the ceiling at 3 a.m. pushed me into meditation which is closely related. Essentially the two together ask us to focus; bring 100% of our attention into the moment. The scratchy sheet, the clicking of the clock. Surprisingly these tiny sounds make it easier to forget about the laundry, grading, or editing and usher in deep, relaxing sleep.
Here’s my first Monday Mindfulness post. Share your ideas for how to take a break from our continuous inattention.
I have a long overdue to-do list because of a weekend spent, well, weekending with family, friends, and children. Instead of multitasking, I was at the playground. Skipping late nights at the kitchen table, I went to sleep along with everyone else.
And while I was rushing around this morning, after a morning workout (check), the younger one, 10 months old was at the edge of my vision. He was rolling around in his walker, standing on the tips of his toes, gurgling at me with his energy.
I rushed into the kitchen for juice and a snack.
When I came out, he was dashing like a ping-pong ball around the living room, he was a caged specimen of enthusiasm, blocked from the clothes drying on the rack, barricaded from the wires on the television speakers.
We made eye contact; and he smiled. The connection was like a sizzle. I still had 1000 things to do; most of them overdue, many of them related to the release of my next book, furthering my academic career, applications for older brother’s school. But in that moment, since older brother was at nursery, I popped out some toys the younger one rarely gets to touch when Mr. 3 year old is around.
Foam shapes, a fabric tunnel, cushions squares for the floor. The little guy went wild. Dolphin like sounds of delight emanated as he crawled on through, rolling the tunnel this way and that. I watched him for a minute and took a mental picture of his joy. This, I thought to myself, this is happiness. This is what I will remember the next time I start to wonder what any of this is for.
Do you ever wonder what moments will flash before your eyes in the last seconds of your life? If, like in the movies, we get a lightening quick film strip of our lives, I hope mine is full of instants like these. For so a life is made, shared and remembered. Not from a to-do list.
That’s my Monday Mindfulness; you don’t have to take an entire afternoon to make memories. Make them in the flashes in between a workout and computer time.
How do you stay mindful?