April Slow Down

 "The good life is always the life of now.
The only moment is the present moment.  
I need only pause long enough to drink it in."
-Katrina Kenison

For the month of April, I've been feeling a pull to slow down.  Maybe it's because April started with our family on Spring Break, or maybe it's because I have been all go/no quit since January with super intense goals, but whatever the reason, I am desiring some quiet time.  Some time to be still.  Some time to live in the moment, and not in my "to do" list.

 Over Spring Break, I took a hike with my boys (just the twins) plus my sister, nephew & dad.  They were all ahead of me for most of the trip.  I've packed on some extra pounds over winter and haven't been as active as I normally am, so the hike was slow going for me in some parts.
But despite being at the end of the pack, I enjoyed every single step.

As I hiked along, listening to my boys giggle with their cousin, I couldn't help but think that the hike was like life.  Compared to others, I may be "falling behind" (not having the right car, house or clothes, or having a cool enough blog, Facebook, or Instagram account)... but as long as I'm enjoying the journey (and I am. I am so happy right now with our life--) it shouldn't matter if other people are ahead or behind me.  All that matters are my steps.

"Strive for a meaningful life, 
not a prestigious one." 
-Katrina Kenison

So for April, I am trying to enjoy more moments being present. Instead of scrolling Instagram while I bathe the kids, I am going to play with them. Feel the water on my hands.  Watch the bubbles pop in Carly's hands.  Instead of listening to a book on tape while I walk home from dropping the kids at school, I am going to breathe and listen to the birds.  It's taking some adjusting, but I like it.  I like the idea of being where I am. And it certainly helps keep me from getting anxious about the future.  I'm too busy living in today to worry about tomorrow.

"This time of all of us living together under one roof
is really just a single chapter in our family narrative."

-Katrina Kenison
Those handprints on the sliding glass door? They won't be there forever.

Everyone says that these days, with my four kids at home under one roof, are going to fly by.  I can see it. The way Jack stands sometimes, or the way Logan looks at me-- I can see their teenage selves just under the surface of their elementary selves.  Time is a freight train.  And if I'm not careful, it's going to run me over.

I don't want to be undone by the passing of days, but I also don't want to look back on these days and discover I wasn't here for them.  That I wasn't paying attention.  So for the next three weeks I'm going to do my best to really be here.  To breathe in the sights and smells of life right now, as it's happening.

"It's learning to take the moment that comes 
and make the best of it, 
without any idea of what's going to happen next."
-Katrina Kenison

I'm reading (slowly and adoringly) The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison and she talks a lot about trying to minimize the chaos and embrace today.  She says that ordinary gets a bad rap and asks the tough question:

What gets lost in our relentless push 
to achieve, have and do more?

 I personally lose moments with my children.  I lose the ability to be in the moment (whatever I'm doing).  And I lose the freedom of letting life lead me where it wants.

"I am seeking a way to live more attentively, 
with a pause in each day to be still and know the taste of quiet."
-Katrina Kenison


1 comment:

Marilynn Raatz said...

Shelly, I love this. Being busy and multitasking is necessary at times, but oh what a gift to be in the moment.
It's easier said than done but being aware is so wonderful. One night while you were here, Jack asked if I could stay with them while they were getting settled in bed. I said I needed to do the dishes. He said "could Papa do them?" Oh man, I no longer cared about the dishes. I was so happy to be loved like that. He was problem solving for me so I could spend time. I'm still learning.....