I am in full-blown new year’s resolution mode. Thinking of what I want to change in 2012 and what I want to do better. Trying not to beat myself up for the things I did not get accomplished in 2011. Trying to recognize the things that I did accomplish.
One thing I worked really hard at this past year was being in the moment – with the kids, with Jon, with family, with work colleagues, with running, with wrapping presents, with washing dishes. I recognize the times that I achieve this task because I walk away from the moment feeling fulfilled. I still remember two years ago at our old house. I had picked up Maria and Mario early from daycare in order to spend the afternoon with them. We got home, picked out some chips and sandwiches and sat in the front yard for a picnic. My phone rang. I picked it up. It was work. I began to discuss an issue with my colleague. I continued to make faces at M&M trying to show them I was there with them even though I was on the phone. After 10 minutes, Maria rose up from the picnic and walked to the sidewalk. She looked angry. I tried to push my colleague to the end of the conversation but she kept talking. Maria started crying. I realized what I had done and hung up the phone. I walked Maria and Mario to the alley in the back of the house. We put Mario in his plastic “car” with a long handle on the back. Maria went behind him and grabbed the handle. We took off all the way down the alley. Mario looked back at us laughing hysterically. Maria looked up at me giggling. And I breathed in that moment in order to have it forever. Two years later I remember it like it was an hour ago. That is what I want more of for 2012. More clear moments with family and friends and myself where I allow myself to be fully present.
This poem by Mary Oliver is pasted on my desk and it always reminds me to live more in the moment:
Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean— the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down— who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. I don't know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?