“Sometimes I feel like the bulk of my job – as a writer, as a mother, is simply to protect my time – to spew a series of No’s in order to allow Yes’s for the gifts I have been given, today.
To refuse, to accept.
No, I cannot meet you for coffee. My gift, today, is to mother.
No, I cannot attend your event. My gift, today, is to write.” ~
Be Present. Be Present. Be Present. I always hear the ‘Be Present’ phrase and have read dozens of articles about the Art of Being Present, in a smart phone age where we are always on-the-go. Being Present is the thing to do. It means putting your things to the side and sitting on the wooden floor for who-knows-how-long and playing and conversation making with a person who is a minute two year old. It means paying attention to everything and doing everything, and doing it all, or at least that’s what I made myself think. It means you must have a fresh, home cooked dinner on the table, be there for your children, do mundane household chores, read your child scores of books, and manage to get some juicy writing in. It means having your laundry in neat, little piles. Or does it?
I read this beautiful article here by Erin where it says you can be selfish, and if you have a gift, nurture it. So if you can write, then it’s okay to stay in and write. It’s okay to pore over photos and edit to your liking. Actually, it’s more than okay. Because if you don’t ever give yourself that time, then your gifts may not linger so much. I’ve heard others say writing is a muscle and if you don’t exercise those muscles, it’s so easy to get rusty, to get stale, and to have your thoughts become stagnant.
I have had some unforeseen circumstances in which lately I am at home more. Naturally, being at home more and less on the go is more relaxing. When you are always on the go, from picking up children, grocery shopping, park-going, library-visiting, drive-through-eating, you feel like your life is simply going-through the motions. Rinse. Wash. Repeat.
Being at home more, it’s natural to feel the I-should-be-reading-to-my-children-more, I-should-be-playing-with-her-more-on-the-wooden-floor, but there are many times when I get to sit down with my pink laptop, and write, and in those moments I feel the most present and alive and happy. Happy to let my thoughts free. In those moments, I push the guilt to the side, and just allow myself to write.
Then, those moments post writing when I am sans pink laptop, I feel more attuned to the lives of the little ones around me. More attuned to the things they say, and more likely to appreciate. More likely to ‘Be Present.’ More likely to realize that the meaning of being present is to be slow and gentle with yourself and the expectations of what you can do, to appreciate what you have done, and to look forward at what is upcoming. To not just Rinse, Wash, Repeat, but to Make Bubbles, Linger and Lather , and Soak. Soak in the goodness of it all.
“Verily, in the remembrance of God do hearts find rest.” – Quran 13:28