Let’s look at a typical morning. Not the summer holiday relaxed schedule, where wake up is late, you know, around 6:30? So it’s regular, normal, real life day. It’s close to eight A.M. Have my to go mug of coffee, I’ve dropped the kids at school and I am driving home. I am singing along to the radio, top volume, (me, not the radio) or I take a quick call, Bluetooth of course, and I drive. Aimlessly. I know I’m not really paying attention, because in a heartbeat I am pulling into my driveway. I’m wondering to myself, “wow, that was fast! And just how did I get here so quickly?” I know my friends, you’re thinking, heck, I do the same thing! Well, it’s sort of scary isn’t it! Even on our jaunts to the post office or market, our minds are so distracted, that we don’t even realize our travel route, surroundings, or even that we are already home. I know that I was probably thinking about what to make for dinner while planning my day, my blog, my appointments and even tomorrow. Maybe I am worried about something, I’m sure this happens to you as well. Sometimes, it occurs when we’re having a conversation with someone. Suddenly you snap back from la la land and find yourself asking “Hang on! what? Could you say that again?” because you just aren’t paying attention.
Life moves at a fast clip. We spend a majority of our time worrying about our future or re-living the past. Is there anything wrong with this? Not necessarily. But, you can’t change the past, you certainly cannot control the future, no matter how hard you try, so why waste precious time and energy worrying about it? Be mindful, and be present, or while you’re “someplace else,” and you blink, life will pass you by. All the good stuff and the pretty rotten cruddy stuff too.
OK, my sparkly, happy peeps, just how do we stop the cycle? We learn to focus. Mindfulness, remember? It’s all about being present, in the moment, right now. And I mean NOW. Concentrate for just a minute. Listen to your breathing. Are you relaxed? Stressed? Focus. Start paying attention to family and friends, whether in the phone or in person. We are so easily distracted by electronic devices and noisy places, and so, many times when we’re with those special people, we aren’t actually there. We are distracted, already planning what to say next, or worrying about something totally unrelated. Start small. Really listen when you’re talking to someone. Hear their voice, focus on their words, notice their emotions. Then, instead of just seeing someone, you’ll will actually connect. And that’s a fabulous thing if you’re a human. So Sasquatch, it’s OK to lope off into the snowy hills and be alone with your Walkman. (I think I just dated myself! Lol)
Alright then, moving on folks. We spend a lot of time chasing our dreams. We always want more, bigger, better. We want the best of everything for our families. Sometimes, we get so caught up in searching for the “more,” that we forget to take a look at how far we’ve actually come. And it’s not about the stuff. Remember that. Whenever I become a little bit too focused and caught up on where I’m going in life, first, I get stressed. I forget all the advice I spew and freak out. Yup, I do. Admittedly. But, I bring myself back to the present, usually with a cup,of coffee, and I try to see everything for the first time. Well, not the first I time, but in a different light. I see how much I’ve accomplished and how I have grown. I wake up early and have my morning coffee in peace. Just me, the dog and the birds. It’s quiet, I can reflect, be mindful and focus on the present moment. I hear the birds sing and I see the sunshine and I think, “wow, I’m lucky.” And so are you my friends.
Alright friends, listen up. I am about to admit that my hubby might just have the right idea. Yup. I said that – heck, I wrote it! Here for all eternity! Sometimes, it’s not about the multitasking, but about focusing on one thing at a time. And sweetie, if you read this, no gloating, by order of me, the one who food. Do one thing at a time. Such a simple concept. I must admit, I’m probably the worst in the world at this, but practice makes perfect. I tend to attempt multitasking quite a lot. I know that if I focus on one thing at a time, I’ll do a better job and get it done faster. But I am distracted. Perhaps it’s the phone, my calendar or just the voices in my head. When I try to split my focus between several things, my work is sometimes inefficient. When you write, don’t do anything else but write. Same for drinking that peaceful cup of coffee, shopping or laundry. Well, maybe not laundry, after all, there’s a 30 minute cycle for sure. Whatever you’re doing- start practicing doing only that one thing at a time. Things get done more orderly, more efficiently, and your crazy to do list is shortened and finished by day’s end.
Being present and mindful is not easy to do and it can feel a really unnatural. This is why you need to practice. I actually like practicing mindfulness when doing mundane things, like washing the dishes or folding laundry. I love how warm the laundry and how good it smells when I take it out of the dryer. I focus on texture and the solitude of the laundry room without thinking about my next chore. Sometimes, it makes something menial and repetitive pleasurable, even the little, simple things.its kind of magical – being present- when your mind is free. You aren’t stressing about the future or the past. When you really think about it, all we ever have is right NOW.
So summing up my pretties (yes, too much Oz as a child)… It’s all about being there for yourself. No one else. Be kind, and mindful, and pay it forward. Give someone a compliment. It’s all about the little things you can do to help someone get through a rough day. Take time to enjoy the little moments, and really live, don’t be the itinerant rider passing through town to get to the next event in life. Time is like a creature that you just can’t reason with. It responds like a snail when we are impatient, and races through the finish line like a cheetah when we can’t catch a breath or a break.
Learn to laugh at the little things, don’t take life so seriously. I mean, not taking life for granted is something we should all aspire to achieve. Let’s be careful with our choices. Don’t look too far ahead rather than right here, right now, or you can be swept away. Enjoy the little things and enjoy the life we are living right now. We only get one shot at life, so we’d best make it a great one.
Stay motivated and caffeinated! 😉☕️