Finding peace in the middle of it all
I'm kind of fired up. At myself. At all of us, really. I've half written a million blogs lately on everything from being authentic to that Vogue cover to Ms. Paltrow's uncoupling and mommy wars. Haven't seemed to be able to properly finish one to my satisfaction. Because, you know, I'm busy. I'm so busy. So. busy.
On Sunday night I'm scrolling through Pinterest (truly looking for work-related fam whatnots) and I see this semicolon tattoo.
It's meant to be a reminder to pause and I thought: What an idea? What a bril idea! The idea of pausing - not necessarily a punctuation tattoo on my wrist. (Mom, do not panic!) I took about half a minute to think about how I need to slow down. And then I kept going. I had stuff to do. I'm busy. Didn't you hear?
And then Monday morning arrived and I was super busy. (Doing work stuff and trying to get our house back in order after one too many weekends in a row traveling.) I was sitting just a few feet from Wilder with my back turned. He fell and somehow in a feat I will never understand hit a big glass vase thing. And he broke it. With his head. Cue my heart exploding and this bizarre momma calm overcoming me.
We were quickly in the ER where the doctor said he didn't need stitches and I just kept thinking - reality check. Reality. Checked. I have this great life that I'm fast forwarding through.
I don't want Wilder to miss out. I had the same sense of urgency much of my life. It waned at some point in my married years before I got pregnant. The combo of age and a busy job had me hibernating whenever I could. Then came Wilder and the older he gets the more I want him to see. To experience. This child has seen and done more at age two and a half than I did by age 10. I'm not knocking it. Not really planning on changing it. But, I think I need to pause. In my own life.
Life is not going to slow down. For years. I'm going to keep being so busy. In fact, it's only going to get super duper more busier from what I understand about how this parenthood thing works.
I think what I'm all fired up about is my lack of appreciation for what is. My forward momentum that robs me of the present joy. My habit of looking at what's next.
Since working in monthly publishing (starting in 2008) I've joked that I live a month in advance. April is now? Next? Nope. I already did April and it went to print. I'm in May now. It's a weird habit that may make no difference to some people that do the same thing as me, but it seems to bleed into how I approach life. With my finger on fast forward.
It's hard to appreciate the road when you're looking at the horizon. Life is not about a series of goals yet to be achieved. I think anyone that's accomplished much will tell you a goal met is not the end of a journey. And the greed of the human soul too often replaces one goal with another one. A bigger one. A better one. And then when you get that? Then ... well, that's it. This is the one. Once I have this one thing then I'm done. But, we never are. (Learning to be content has been one of the biggest ongoing accomplishments I may never quite complete. I say accomplishment because I've achieved far more contentment than I ever thought possible and yet there is much more left.)
I've never seen anything move so fast as childhood. Wilder's moments on this earth are lightening speed. Fleeting. Gone. They never return again. Am I present? Am I cherishing everyone of these moments? I believe in acknowledging the hard. I believe we all do each other a great favor as mommas when we own the tough stuff.
I think what I must find - or rather what I must create - is a way to find the peace and find the pause right in the middle of it all. No matter what. In a recent conversation with other mommas we were talking about quiet times in the morning (or lack thereof) and one bril momma had an idea I loved and haven't practiced - why don't we pray for a quiet in the midst of all this instead of a moment of actual quiet. So, that's my new goal. One I will never stop achieving. I will seek to find a moment of pause in my mind, in my soul, in my heart right in the middle of it all. Right in the middle of Disney on Ice and gauze wraps around the head and peanut butter smashed into the carpet and a haze of dry shampoo and self tanner.
These moments will never come again. This life will not slow down. This is me pausing right now. Right in the middle of it all. This is me finding the eye in the storm.
A sweet little pause in the middle of the storm last week. And by 'storm' I mean Wilder
and by 'pause' I mean puddle splashing. (And, yes, I partook. I needed it.)