But there was another voice encouraging me to stop and be present right now. To see my kids, really see my kids, and to not miss this moment right in front of me.
Instead of heading to bed, we enjoyed a walk in the warm evening glow of the summer sun. My youngest reveling in his new found skill of riding a two wheeler while I enjoyed simple conversation with my oldest.
We returned home, popped popcorn and laughed over a game of "Sorry."
My kids will remember it. I will remember it for a long time.
Did my "to do" list get done? Nope! Its a small part of the reason "The Daily Rhythms" has been silent for the past few weeks...that and a trip to Chicago, moving, and a trip north to visit friends. But the memories we made that night and the connection we experienced are more valuable to me than the check marks on my "to-do list."
I've been challenged lately to stop anticipating, fearing, and even attempting to control the next moment and to live present in the moment right now.
Sometimes that means buckling down and checking things off my "to-do" list. Like I said, I've traveled twice in the last two weeks and moved! Believe me, there have been moments where I have to being doing things so I can check them off my list.
But how often do I hide behind my "to-do" list? How often do I miss out on life because of expectations I put on myself? How often do I miss moments of laughter and connection for the sense of accomplishment that the check mark brings?
My challenge to myself right now is to be mindful with my "to-do" list. Below are some questions I am using to help filter my decisions.
- What are the consequences of this choice? So often we think of consequences as bad but really consequences are just the outcome of a decision. By asking myself this question, I am able to think through the reasons why I am making the choice and if there is a better way or time that would benefit me and my boys more.
- Is there a memory to be made here? With this thought, I am able to be more mindful of making the mundane jobs like washing dishes fun. It can either be a hurry up and get them done activity or it can turn into a dance party, dish washing, memory making moment!
- Is there a need that is not being met? My laser focus on my "to-do list" can cause me to overlook a need. Sometimes the arguing and whining from my kids that is causing me to pull my hair out is simply their need for connection. Something that I learned, but sometimes have a hard time practicing, is rather than letting my frustration grow, simply stopping, gathering my boys around for five minutes and reading a story together ends the whining cycle a lot faster and more effectively.
It's July and here in the northwest we have another two months before we head back to school. I know that in the next two months, my to-do list will continue to pull for my attention. However, my dream is for moments each day where I throw out my "to-do list" and simply just be in the moment. If this resonates with you, I invite you to join me. Let's hold each other accountable by building a community of moms and dads choosing to live present in the moment. Head over to Foundations PLC's Facebook Page and join the conversation there.