This mental freshening-up or "snap out of it" exercise feels good. I've missed the quiet time with myself. I've missed reflecting and starting my day with my journal and coffee instead of waking right up to chores, e-mail, to-do list, texts...all those things that can end up sweeping us up and taking us swiftly through our day only to be at the end of it and ready to start all over again. I'm thankful for the reminders and awareness to put on the breaks a bit and just soak the important stuff up. At the same time, I'm thankful that we do have the option of life autopilot where we don't always have to be actively seeking out some magical moment in life. Ha! Sometimes it is just nice to zone out and tell your kids to disappear to the backyard for awhile so you can check you e-mail and write a blog. Right?!
Balance. Change up. Seasons. Not always being content with SAMENESS. These are key for me.
So, in my intent to reconnect just a bit with myself and my kids, I forced myself to leave the house yesterday. Staying inside can just be too distracting sometimes if my computer is on and my phone is beeping and ringing. Oh, and then the constant mess from living with kids....too easy to want to just start picking up and "getting things done" instead of spending time playing with my kids. Before I know it, hours have gone by and I've gotten nowhere...just cleaning. But there is always more mess.
So we took off on a "nature walk" to the park. And I left with one big intention: UNPLUG.
I tried to only use my phone for my camera and to ignore the chimes telling me about an e-mail or text. This is harder than it sounds. Talk about an exercise in self control and being present.
It ended up being an hour and a half that definitely made an impression on my kids.
They will remember it. They will remember that Mom was present and excited about being WITH them and doing what they were doing instead of just being there while they play. I was playing too.
Stopped to see bees on flowers,
|Watching the bees|
Picked up all the interesting leaves, pine cones, flowers on weeds, small rocks
Added to our Nature Collection for a collage.
Gave attention to the the things we usually rush past.
taught us all about spit bugs and the different kinds of trees. She shared with me the many facts she has learned from being so in love with nature.
|Spit Bugs...Thanks to my daughter for pointing this out.|
rode his bike and carried our nature bag on the back as he picked up on our energy and got so excited about everything he saw. "Look at that! Woah, look Mommy! Look at the tree and the bug and the...."
|Everything was a treasure on this Nature Walk|
Then the park.
Again, I played instead of my usual watching.
I got on the swings and felt like a 9 year old again. Swinging so high that my stomach felt like it wasn't in the right place.
My daughter learned to finally swing on her own to where she was really gaining some speed.
She even conquered the little rock wall and climbed in 3 times!
My son found a broken toy helicopter that was discarded in the grass. Left as junk. But it became treasure. We fixed it the best we could and one happy little boy carried it home in his bike as if he had just bought a new toy at the store.
When we got back, I was exhausted but just hearing my daughter's words made me so so glad that I gave that time to them. And myself. Without other distractions. We walked up the driveway and she said:
"This was a good good day! A good day!"
Later on after lunch, having a day off of running gave me a little extra time to spend in the journals that I keep for my kids. It was nice to WANT to and have the energy to write them each a little note...a snapshot in time. I don't write in these journals as often as I used to but they are some of my greatest treasures to look back on as they grow up. These are the second journals for each kid. I started one for each of them when I was pregnant with them and it lasted several years (still have many pages to fill of the first one of my sons). They even write in them on occasion and it is cool to see their writing skills develop over the years...from just a hand tracing, to scribbles, to their first wobbly letter, and eventually their names and thoughts. These journals are a perfect place to write down those little things that kids say that you never want to forget but you somehow always do. I have lots of quick short scribbles in these journals where I just write the date and the funny sentence one of them said. For example, my son is big into saying the phrase "by the way" lately. So last night at bedtime he shouted from his room to say good night. After I said goodnight back he called out in his little voice: "Oh, by the way Mom....I love you." Now, that went in his book.
|Taking time to write in their journals. This isn't a daily thing but they fill up eventually and become a great treasure...for me and them.|
Happy to be feeling more alert lately. I'm so glad that we hold the power to make changes in our life when we see it going a direction we don't like. I'm excited to keep climbing and see where life continues to take me...I think I'll enjoy it a heck of a lot more if I make a conscious effort to keep setting goals and trying to be a better me. This has so much to do with keeping myself present, my self-windows clean, and staying connected with ME so I can stay connected with others.