Two days ago, I put my daughter down for a nap, a process that can either be delightful or maddening, depending entirely upon the mindset with which I choose to approach it. I chose to enjoy it. We read four stories and I sang a variety of songs–Baa Baa Black Sheep (3x), Amazing Grace (3 verses, 3x), Mary Had a Little Lamb (2 verses, 2x), and Rock-a-bye Baby (1x–too disturbing for me). Then “cuddle.” We cuddled. “Rub back.” I rubbed her back. “Night-night.” Closed the door, took a deep breath, and didn’t hear a sound for two hours. Success!
I hadn’t slept well the night before, so my plan was to nap while she slept, assigning my son to the task of remaining quiet NO MATTER WHAT, even if that meant paper scraps all over the bedroom. But then I remembered “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” still sitting on his bedside table, four pages into the first chapter, started almost a week ago. I really want to read it with him. So I said, “Hey, how about we read that first chapter of Harry Potter again, and then you can go about your business?” He agreed enthusiastically. Tired but pleased, I read to him without distraction for the first time in a really long time.
These might not seem to be important events, but for me, they most certainly were. As a working mom, I don’t get to put my daughter down for a nap all that often. And whenever I do, I’m usually thinking about the four bazillion things that need to be done while she’s napping, and how on earth am I going to get to every single one of them? That day I made a conscious decision to be in the present moment, and enjoy whatever it had to offer me, with no strings attached. The result was exactly what I needed–I had a positive energy burst that led me outside to continue working on the garden instead of collapsing into bed for half an hour of semi-restful repose. Once I had done all I could for the time being, I returned back inside to revisit some of the blogs I had bookmarked many months ago, when I still had the time and motivation to read about others’ experiences.
I realized that I cannot expect motivation to passively find ME and rouse me from my everyday stupor. I have to seek it out. I have to find others who choose to live in a state of awareness, light, and love, and learn from them. If I continue to dwell on the past, thinking I can never be released from it, that I will always be a prisoner of my mistakes, I will never learn to live in the present, which is where I believe true contentment and joy reside. I am grateful for that simple afternoon, and look for ways to continue to be the mother, friend, partner, and teacher I know I was meant to be.