If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in? ~Author Unknown
It was just three years ago I was constantly running around like a madwoman: work, meetings, school, kid’s activities, errands, and social events; I was in the mindset of always looking ahead and life seemed to be a race against time.
When I think about the time I spent with family and friends, it feels like it was a blur. It is hard to conjure up how I felt in those moments; I was either reminiscing about the past or thinking about what was ahead and next on the To Do list.
I recently responded to a Facebook post by a friend who announced she had taken a break from her career to stay home and take care of her aging mother. There were numerous “Likes” and “Loves” as well as supporting comments on her post including mine: “I did the same 3 years ago as my mom fought cancer and I am now tending to my father. It’s been a sacrifice, but I wouldn’t change it for the world! It is the best gift you can give your parent. You won’t have any regrets.”
After posting my response, I thought about how much I had changed since I put my career on hold; the biggest change was learning to live in the present moment.
Over the past weekend, I shared with a friend how grateful I was to have spent the last few months of my Mom’s life with her; the break from my career to care for her provided me with an opportunity to grow and nurture the art of being fully present.
The joy of being fully present is intoxicating; there is no shame or guilt. It is a feeling free of worry and anxiety because the focus is not on the future. By not wallowing in the past, there is no regret or depression. The present moment brings in clarity and raw emotions.
Choosing not to rush through life means lowering the bar: the dishes, laundry, and general house clean up can wait until after the kids are up and out of the house.
Choosing not to rush through life means being in control of my time: the errands and appointments that used to be a priority are now scheduled (and sometimes rescheduled) around time with my Dad and my kids.
Choosing not to rush through life brings me into the present moment: experiencing the joy of taking a walk with my Dad, the delight of flying a kite with my boys, enjoying the bond of friendship over a beach weekend, or just putting my feet up and catching up with my husband.
Sometimes the sacrifices we make allows the opportunity to learn, change, and grow in ways we never imagined.