Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Enjoying the Moment, Even When You're Exhausted

From the time I was a young kid, whenever I struggling with something, my dad's word of advice would almost always be "this too shall pass". It irritated me in high school, but now that I'm grown and a parent myself, I completely understand that time passes quickly--for better or for worse.

My kids can't sit still if their life depended on it, and even when they are forced to sit, their arms and legs are still in constant motion. They're always running, and they don't even crash. They're both terrible sleepers. I think if their bodies didn't need 9 hours of sleep, they would be running around 24 hours a day.

That being said, because of their energy levels, I always have to be one step ahead of them, always looking to the next thing, planning ahead for a little peace and quiet, and waiting for them to finally go to bed every night. As much as I hear my dad telling me "This too shall pass" in the back of my overwhelmed little brain, it's so hard to be in the moment--and actually enjoy it--when you're in a stage of life that's exhausting.

Lately, I've been making it a point to stay in the moment, and enjoy every second I possibly can. Not only the good times, but also during the stressful and frustrating moments. But what does "living in the moment" really mean?

1. Make Memories Using Your Senses
Stop, and look around. What do you see? What do you hear? Take a deep breath. What do you smell? Tell your brain what's happening around you, and make associations. Whether you see a white sand beach and smell jasmine blooming, or see screaming kids and smell dinner burning, immerse yourself into the moment and find something to be grateful for. Because there is always something to be grateful for. When my kids are yelling at each other and dinner burns, I'm grateful that they're with me and healthy enough to yell at each other, and that we can afford to put food on the table.

2. Put Down The Electronics
Nothing steals the moment more than your cell phone, iPad, TV, etc. The electronics around us have made it a constant point to pull us out of the present and into our own little world. To truly enjoy what's going on around us, we need to curb those high tech habits once in a while. Make one hour a day a no-tech time, and enjoy the things tangibly around you.

3. Don't Think About Tomorrow...At Least Not All The Time
I'm a planner. I was literally planning next year's family vacation while I was sitting in our hotel room on our recent trip. Isn't that terrible? Planning ahead is a great thing, and can save you time, money, and shows responsibility. But, don't get so caught up in thinking about what's coming next, that you lose sight of the blessings in front of you at that moment.

Time does pass too quickly...we all know that. But, sometimes we get so focused on the next thing, or just trying to make it through the day, that we forget to look at what's in front of us. There is only one right now, so make it the best it can be. As tired as you might be right now, this too shall pass, so enjoy the moment while you have it.

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