"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you'll ever have." - Eckhart Tolle
Week two of this journey was slightly delayed... It was a much bigger commitment than one week would allow and much harder than I thought it would be. I have come to terms that I am not, in fact, Wonder Woman. I have spent the first few months of motherhood trying to have it all and, quite honestly, it sucks.
The pressures on the modern woman are written about all the time. I don't need to reiterate them. But, figuring out how to be a perfect mother, perfect wife, perfect business owner, perfect friend, and perfect member of society just isn't going to happen for me. I care so much about all of it, but recognize that I have been spreading myself too thin. So, in effort to really tackle this minimalism thing holistically, I took some time to practice "presence" over a period of the last ten days.
When I was with my little one, I was thinking about work. When I was working, I was thinking about him. I would lay in bed at night wondering if I was giving my husband enough attention. I would see social media post written by my dearest friends and feel guilty that I hadn't seen or reached out to them in weeks. I was getting to a place where I was feeling overwhelmed by every single step I took. Who can live like that? I decided, not me. Do I want to be an outstanding mother? Hell yes! Do I want to be a loving wife? Damn straight. Do I want to be an excellent Interior Designer? You bet your ass I do! So, I've been practicing doing just that. Each one. At their given and designated times.
The transition has been interesting. Focusing on being mentally present with each task or encounter that I'm having, it definitely doesn't come natural to me... My brain certainly wants to run 8 million miles a minute, but I owe it to myself to minimize distraction and be focused on who I'm with or what I'm doing. Minimizing my home and surroundings is all for nothing if I can't minimize my mind for the better.
For example, the early morning when my son first wakes up, is when he is at is absolute sweetest. He coo's and smiles and flails his tiny chubby arms around making me fall in love with him a little more each day. As a bonus, he thinks I am the most hilarious person on the planet in that hour and a half I get with him. I caught myself in the early weeks of his life checking my email, rushing to get my social media posts for work taken care of and jumping in to get myself a shower in those precious 90 minutes. Over the past ten days, absolutely not. There is no phone call more important. There isn't a news blast that can't wait. And the shower will certainly be there when he has gone down for a nap.
This will obviously be an ongoing challenge for me. I will slip up and have to refocus myself. But, the days where I have managed to be mindful of what I'm doing or who I'm with, I've never felt happier. Being present has allowed me to actually feel like I've accomplished something instead of feeling like I'm accomplishing half of a lot of things.
When was the last time you had dinner with a girlfriend and didn't have your phone on the table? When was the last time you chatted with your partner for a full hour without checking sports highlights or making sure that your favorite show was recording? It's not easy, but I promise you, its worth it even if you just make the effort once in a while.