Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Mindfulness, being mindful, living a mindful life. It seems like a buzzword, but it's been buzzing around my head for the past few days as I'm trying to pull myself back to center.

What does it mean? For me it means paying attention to my daily life. It means not being pulled from one task to the next without stopping. It means pausing, reflecting, and thinking about what I am doing. It means completing daily tasks with meaning, instead of just going through the motions. This can also be called living intentionally.

I've been feeling stressed out recently. Not in the classic sense that I have so much to do and just no time. No. I accept that dishes will be dirty. Laundry will always be piled up. My inbox will be full, emails will remain unwrittten, and phone calls will not be returned. As a mom to two small children, I take that kind of stress for granted (which is good since it's always there). This kind of stress is something deeper. I can't put my finger on it, but I know it's there as evidenced by my lack of patience, that antsy feeling, and the state of my fingernails (I'm a nail biter). We have some stuff going on. Hans finds out his residency placement (aka our future home) on Friday and the girls both have birthdays this week, but I feel like there is something else under my skin.

I blame the weather. I blame our cramped living quarters. I blame the new nap schedules which keeps us home for a large part of the day. I blame the fact that we're moving to a new city in two months. (Big. Yes, that's big.) And then I make some resolutions.

I can try to chill out. I take a deep breath. (I say I should meditate but I don't.) I make a goal to take each day one at a time. To focus on the small moments and enjoy the giggles and laughs in between trying to get something done even if those laughs make us another five minutes late. I narrow my focus: I center my focus on my daily life and on the individual tasks and I stop trying to look at the bigger picture. I enjoy my girls and remember to cherish each moment--even if we are stuck at home a lot. I pay attention to what I am doing and appreciate my rich, happy life. I try to live intentionally.

Back in January, when I knew we had no travel plans (nothing happens in the winter anyway), I made a commitment to attend church every week. I'm not a big church-y person in the traditional sense--I don't really pray, I get a little uncomfortable talking outwardly about Jesus and God, and I'm a big believer in evolution--but I value the quiet, reflective time every Sunday morning offers me. I've missed the past four Sundays, so I returned to church this past Sunday thinking maybe my absence, or, rather, church's absence in my life, was the reason I've been feeling a little out of sorts. The sermon? All about those times that you feel scattered and lost. Come back to church, connect with a community, and get centered. Church isn't the only answer for me. It's part of it. But I know that I need to get recentered. I need to live each day a little more mindfully and enjoy the motions, instead of just go through the motions.

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