Daughter Date Night and Inspiration

I had a wonderful night with my 11-year-old last week.  Although my husband could only give us three hours together we had a lot of fun.  We spent way too long at dinner, but she talked almost non-stop which was wonderful.  It is so great to reconnect with her.  I wish I could have time like this with each child daily.  Such a wish had me searching the web for answers. 

There is an “inspiring” blog out there called Inspired to Action.  It has me questioning the life I am living.  I am not happy, so something needs to change and it has to start with me.  I need to take control again and be a good example for my children.  If you have a moment, check out Inspired to Action http://inspiredtoaction.com/  and let it inspire you.  I will keep you posted on my progress.


Life is Good . . . Don’t Miss It! (Ladies Home Journal, March 2010)

Christmas Jejoes

Making Moments that Matter

I recently read an article in Ladies Home Journal that inspired me.  It discusses being  present for the important moments of your life.  The article calls it mindfulness — the practice of keeping your focus on the present moment. 

I am notorious for lying in bed at night usually around 3 a.m. thinking about all the ways I haven’t been there for each child and how overwhelmed I am.   With all the multitasking modern-day life requires, I find  myself hurrying so fast to accomplish so much I forget to stop and enjoy the moments that truly matter.  I have not been practicing mindfulness and I am missing out on so much. 

So how do I accomplish mindfulness?  It takes practice.  While I am hurrying along accomplishing all the tasks necessary for a family of five I am focusing on getting to the next task.  I should instead focus on the actual task and ask myself how I can enjoy the moment.  I know this may sound crazy, but I have tried it a few times and it really works.  I have noticed more joy in my every day life just by slowing down and engaging in what I am doing while I am doing it.  Whether it be folding laundry or taking out the trash.  I take a deep breath, notice the details of my surroundings and be present. 

The article also discusses during times when I feel frantic or overwhelmed I need to see it as an invitation to be present.  Take a deep breath, focus and bring myself back into the moment.  

When I focus on doing too many things at once I am not giving full attention to either one and then when a child (or three) enter the situation I can only offer a fraction of attention to what really matters.  It’s almost as if I have left my body and I am just going through the motions like a machine.  My mind isn’t even focusing.  

My task list, laundry, blog, e-mail and Facebook will be there tomorrow, but my children are growing up quickly.  A great quote from the article says, “Technology is great for staying in touch with far-away loved ones.  But for the near and dear who are actually near?  Be with them when you can.”  I need to make rules for myself to limit technology for those times when my children don’t need me.  This also holds true for the daily tasks like laundry and cleaning.  When a child does require my attention — be there “mindfully.”  Look in her eyes, notice her expression and really listen.  Incorporating mindfulness in my marriage would go a long way too. 

Hopefully by practicing mindfulness my late night guilt will fade.  I am hoping my children will benefit from a mom who is truly there for them and present.  No more half-heartedly listening to one of my children while I complete a task or plunk away on the computer.  I vow from this moment on to be there as much as I can and be mindful.