Letting myself relax and enjoy moments is not something I am always good at I don’t think I fully realized this until today. Sometimes I have no other things to think about, I have time and I let myself enjoy what I’m doing. Usually, I have a lot of things I want to get done – more than I have time for – and so I rush through otherwise enjoyable tasks because they need doing and something else awaits, or I (heaven forbid!) multitask, thus not wringing any real pleasure from any of what I do, aside from the satisfaction of completion.
As I made my way through today with my little girl I happened on a few moments where I consciously slowed down to get more from what I was experiencing. I realized also that this enabled me to give more in those moments. Again, back to the breath: breathing and letting myself settle in and experience with full engagement is a choice that reaps multiple rewards.
It was another hot day of renovations here and I was at loose ends as to how to fill my time. Bearing in mind earlier lessons I decided to walk to City Park with Baby. I gave myself permission to take my time and enjoy ourselves. We got something to drink (I had an iced chocolate; she had some mama’s milk). We looked at neat coats at a new store and made new friends. We settled in by the water park. We played in the water park. And I let her take her time and decide what to play with rather than rushing her out after a few minutes. Why is it so hard just to relax and enjoy splashing in water in the summer with my girl?
Then we sat on the grass and made more friends. Baby is a smiler, a screamer, and as of today, a waver. She waved intermittently to a breast feeding mom a few blankets over, who would smile and wave back. Amazing to see her realize this form of communication! She would point at birds and plans overhead, at interesting people walking by. She smiled and talked and played with the young girl at the neighbouring blanket. By the end of at least an hour sitting there I felt that I could say good-bye to these people I’d met through my daughter. It was a joy to slow down and be there on a gorgeous summer day at the end of my maternity leave. What better way could I have spent my day?
Back at home later tonight I was continuing to walk around with her, this time under the dining room table. By this point in the evening I’m usually burnt out with playing. I want to read, or write, or watch TV, or cook, or something else. Tonight for some reason my perspective shifted for a moment. I realized that these moments with my daughter are precious, fleeting and to be experienced, not rushed through. It is so obvious it’s almost embarrassing to write, but this is one of the basic truths I’m hoping to reinforce through this year of writing and reflection. I slowed down and was able to enjoy playing with her for the rest of the evening.
These last posts have all seemed like variations on a simple theme: slow down and experience the moment. Simple but profound for me.