July 31, 2014

on being present

Today felt a little dreamy. When I got home from work, my little gal wanted to put on her tutu and dance with me. We danced to five songs, twirling and raising her high in the air. My biggest passion in life growing up was always dancing, and sometimes I see her pure joy of movement and wonder if that gene was passed along. Time will tell on that one. I don't know if there are many six foot ballerinas out there, but you never know.....
Afterwards, she tossed on her gumboots and wanted to run around the yard with the hose. I showed her how watering my garden was also a super fun game. Hey, it isn't child labour if no one is getting paid. She jumped in the giant mud puddles she was creating in my flower beds and kicked dirt high up into the air. I didn't care at all about the mud flying around because it was more fun to live in that spontaneous moment with her. 

I'm trying my hardest to live in the moment now because it's too much emotionally for me to think of a few months down the road. Also, I want to have that tangible feeling that my days are unique from each other and stretched out. It's so easy to fall into the trappings of daily routines that our weeks can fly by. And right now, more than ever, I need life to just slow the eff down. I need to bask in the time I get to share with my mom. I need to do all the things we can together on her "good" days. I need to be present with my daughter and enjoy watching her grow and change before my eyes.
What do you do to try to stay in the moment? In this era of distractions, it's harder than ever to be fully present. I think adding variety to our days is a huge factor for me - hitting the beach one night, a park the next, visiting friends, having family over, adding some interest to our days so they don't all seem the same. Also, I only give myself a little window of time while I'm sitting on the metro commuting or while I'm prepping dinner to look at my phone because it's such a huge distraction. When my daughter looks at me, I want her to see me, not my face buried in a screen. I also am a strong believer in gratitude. I think that if you look in your days for those little standout moments, whether you just take a mental note, or jot them down at the end of your day, I swear to you, it is one of the best things you can do for yourself to keep your mindset more positive and to make your days feel unique. And if you really want to keep your mindset positive and anxiety at bay, exercise. Yes, the dreaded bastard, the e word. But I swear to you, the endorphin payoff is worth every drop of sweat equity. I'll never understand people who starve themselves on diets rather than choosing to exercise. I'll always prefer the endorphin high from running over eating a rice cake laced with stevia. I have a lot of moments lately of feeling overwhelmed about my mom's health, and exercise immediately calms me down and makes me focus on my breathing, bringing me right back to the present moment.
So, I know nothing I have told you is new. You've heard it all before. But sometimes it's a good reminder to just sit where you are, look around you, hear the sounds, feel the sun on your face, fully engage with those around you. Be present.
I'm going to practice gratitude on this blog in August, inspired by this sweet video.
Nighty night friends xoxo

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