Two nights ago I had a realization. Or a recollection I suppose.
Something that we all know on some level, yet something that I need to remind myself of. Because I tend to forget. Remember, forget. Remember, forget.
What I realized was: All that I have is this moment.
How do I choose to spend it?
I want to spend today fully alive. Drinking it in and living it fully - not just going through the motions. Living. Joyfully. Passionately. Awake and alive with all that I have. I want the full messy, sticky, juicyness of now.
Because now is everything.
The ugly and the beautiful, the sweet and the bitter, the whole of this life.
I want the real deal. All of it. Today.
Choosing to remember this simple fact could change almost everything that isn't working in my life. Because it would change my perspective and my awareness. I want to live with this knowledge everyday. I want it to shape me.
Yes, I live fully most everyday. But not most of everyday. I lose time and drift away and let distraction lead me time and again. Sometimes I fall asleep at the wheel (so to speak) and don't notice all that is passing me by. The beauty. The magic. The ordinary, everyday pleasures of now.
Distraction. It devours my days.
What about you?
We're so distracted sometimes that we can't hear the voices of our children, our partners, or even ourselves over the chatter in our minds or the screen in our hands.
Sometimes we're not even here, even thought we are.
So I started with the obvious. I turned off the computer.
This step is huge. (For me anyway.) I unplugged. And I convinced myself that nothing happening on this box was better or more seductive or more exciting than a single thing going on in my kitchen, my backyard, or with my family.
Because what I have is always more real and worthwhile than what distracts me from it.
So I turned off the computer but I also turned off my love affair with it.
The computer serves a purpose. It inspires. It educates. It entertains. It connects. But in my world its power is greater than the good that it delivers. We need to make the leap from its constant presence to it's more judicious, mindful use.
We need to wake up and decide how and when we choose to plug in.
So the computer was off. And then we ate dinner outside. I made eye-contact with my husband and laughed with my kids. We talked. A lot. And lingered around the table. After dinner we got into the truck and headed to the country to dream our country dream again before sleep.
When we got home I chose to leave the computer off and crawl into bed early with my kids. I slept long and woke up feeling alive. Present. And joyful. And ready for the moments that make up this day.
In the morning I cranked out my work as quickly as I could and then powered off the computer again. I vowed to leave it be until late afternoon when I had another block of work time scheduled. And I did.
In truth, I hardly thought of it. I just was. Alive. In the simple now of my day.
Instead of bouncing between my family and the screen, I did the things I always do, but with more presence of mind. I...
~read books to my children,
~hung laundry in the sun,
~ate lunch outside,
~sanded some furniture for refinishing,
~played with my puppy,
~canned rhubarb ketchup,
~went searching for tadpoles,
~headed to the farm for milk,
~read more books,
~and was present. All day. Fully, joyfully present. In my now.
I did not...
~wonder what was happening on Facebook,
...or in my inbox,
...or here on the blog,
~need to research a recipe,
~or cave to the distraction. I did not miss anything. It was quite the opposite.
So today I'm going for it again. I'm logging off. Powering down. Because my email will still be here tonight when I check in. We'll be in the kitchen, at the library, and out looking for tadpoles again. Because that is living. And I want living more than another good idea or another distraction from this day.
As a bonus, I'm going to model healthier behaviors to my kids. And while I''m at it I'll be more grounded, present, and alive in this day.
Because today is all I've got.
Will you join me and live more in the now, starting today?