I hardly ever get it right. I hardly ever find the perfect balance of work-life, mom-life, wife-life, family-life, friend-life and blog life. Someone always gets the short end of the stick. That someone usually lives in my house. He is 6. He is 7. She is 4. He is 36.
I invest far too much time tuned in to the lives of people who know me and need me the least. I focus too much energy on things that can wait, all the while my children will never be this age again, and I am missing it.
I realized it the day that everything worked. I did all the things they tell you to do to have a house that is beautiful enough for social media. I started receiving emails about real collaborations so much so that I put together the beginning phases of my media kit. My views started growing. My following started growing, and I almost lost sight of the fact that my kids…were growing.
I thank God for almost.
As I type these words, my 4-year old daughter is playing loudly with the dog behind me. We just sorted Skittles by color all so that she could give half of the bag away because that is just the type of person she is.
All of this leads to one point. I decided to be present. I decided that I wanted to see my daughter’s character develop. I decided that I wanted to really hear about how my husband feels at the end of the day. I decided that I wanted to see why my son likes his video games so much. I decided that even a red color on the behavior chart at school deserves a little latitude at home. If I had not, I would never have seen how my son can build entire lego sets from the ground up without even a little help from mom and dad… and I almost missed it.
For anyone not trying to miss it, for anyone trying to see their children grow, for anyone who has vowed to be present, this word is for you AND for me.
Allow for interruptions in regularly scheduled programming.
Never allow things that cannot wait to suffer for things that can. “Just a minute” can turn into hours, which can turn into days, which can turn into years. What exactly are they waiting for? Did you miss watching him play the game so that you could like another post? Did you tell her you would be there in a second to put her puzzle together so that you could comment one more time, return one more text, finish watching one more video? What is it on your to do list that is so non-negotiable? Sometimes, you just have to stop what you are doing so that you can really live. Do not spend life blinded by things that do not matter. Handle your interruptions with care. At times, interruptions are re-routes to set you back in the right direction. The kids are not the interruption. The phone call is not the interruption. Your husband is not the interruption. Your co-worker is not the interruption. What had you so engrossed that you lost sight of what mattered most is the interruption. Allow for their giggles, kisses, and warm hugs. Life is more than your to-do list.
Get rid of what prevents you from living in the moment. If your kids have too many toys, start giving them away. If you are washing too many loads of laundry, you own too many clothes. Unsubscribe from e-mails you no longer want to receive. Cross items off the list that you are doing only out of a sense of obligation. Delete. Unfollow. Let the Jones be the Jones, and stop trying to keep up with them. You are lugging around too much baggage. The people that travel the most in the world recognize that packing light comes with distinct advantages. You cannot be present when you are surrounded by stuff that no longer holds any value for you or any of the people you love.
Get some sunshine
I feel like I have said all of these things before, but sometimes I need a reminder for me. If I need a reminder, then maybe you could also use a reminder. I got lost in the success of things with no signficance. I tried to impress people who hold little value to me and ignored the ones I value most. So if you have ever been there, here it is again. Go outside. There is nothing like a little sun to put things back in perspective. You have to actually cover the screen of your phone to see what it says when the sun is shining too brightly which is probably an indication that the phone could use rest and the present could use attention. Every once in a while, get fresh air. Feel the rays of the sun against your skin. The sun does something for the attitude. The sun makes it hard to concentrate on anything but right now – this moment. The sun brings things back into focus. The SON brings things back into focus.
Your purpose is who you are all by yourself. Your purpose is that thing that makes you stand out when you are trying your best to fit in. It is what you do naturally. It is who you are without trying. Your purpose is your ordinary. In order to be present, you must find your purpose and walk in it.
I know some of you are trying to find your purpose, but the reality is that you are already there. Your purpose is your day in and day out. It is doing what you have been called to do even if no one recognizes it. It is continuing on despite your doubts and your discouragements because you are absolutely certain that this is it. This. What you are doing right now. Who you are right now.
Your purpose is when you dreamed bigger, and you do not know how to get there. Your purpose is in the middle of point A and point B. It is those things you think that no one notices.
If you have lost your purpose, and you want to know how to find it, think of this. You are here because you wanted to be present in the middle of your busy. Why? Why is that important to you? Who is that important to you? What is that important to you?
Your purpose is the reason you are trying to be present.
What are some ways that you know how to be present?
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