I know what you’re thinking. Oy – another blog about New Years?! And it’s already February… But the way I see it, I’m right on time for Chinese New Year and well ahead of the game for the Jewish New Year next September.
The truth is, my resolution this year is quite simple and enacting it is part of the reason I’ve been slow to write it down. I’m officially designating this the year of (drum roll, please)…. the present.
Not as in the kind you give, I mean actually being in the moment, every day…
from the little things (like paying attention to what I do so my deodorant doesn’t mysteriously end up in the kitchen and my car keys in the kids’ toy trunk) to the big – focusing on the people I love and the activities that make me happy.
These days, my kids are constantly looking ahead – wanting to be big and able to do more. Meanwhile, my parents are looking back, reminiscing about “the way it used to be.”And here I am, just a few steps away from meeting the Queen Mother of mid-life Birthdays. Like it or not, that little lady has every intention of drop-kicking me from one side of the proverbial hill to the other.
But just because she’s sending me over doesn’t mean that I need to start sliding down the other side! Au contraire! I intend to stick around the summit for as long as I can. This is the time to do, to enjoy, to live every moment without looking too far ahead or behind. As the French say, it’s time to profitez-en bien (prah-fē-tay zahn bē-ehn): “enjoy and make the most of it!”
We get into a routine and sometimes forget to pay attention to the details of our daily lives. We naively go about our days, acting as if the world stands still – that the people we know and love will always be here, that opportunities will wait for us to act, that our children will always be giddy to play superhero and pretend to fly around the neighborhood with their Mama.
Alas, it isn’t so.
This is the time to do, to enjoy, to live every moment
without looking too far ahead or behind.
This time is precious and I don’t want to miss it by multi-tasking my way through life. I want to slow down and pay attention, do things in a meaningful way, and to the best of my ability. My hope is that by really trying to live in the present, I can make the most of every day – so that when tomorrow comes, I can enjoy it without regret.
Here are some personal goals for this year. Maybe some of them will speak to you too…
- Spend more time playing with the kids and less time posting about them on Social Media. Life is meant to be experienced in actual size, not through the little screen on the back of my phone.
- Work during work-time and play during play-time: when combined, neither the experience nor the results are satisfactory.
- Try to do a little bit every day to organize my living space with the full realization that the house may not ever look exactly how I’d like until the kids are grown (in other words, don’t sweat it if I awake to find my child has “decorated” the house for Halloween 10 months early by affixing dozens of stickers to the wood floors, walls, kitchen table, and door knobs.)
- Keep in touch with the people who are important. Call or write actual letters to friends and family.
- Invest energy in the activities I want to pursue instead of putting them off for another day.
- Read more.
- Share more – ideas, books, laughter, music, food.
- Exercise more, not to thwart some future health ailment, but because it makes me happy.
Feel free to check in and ask me how I’m doing on my resolution and my new goals. I’m sure I won’t always live up to my aspirations. That’s ok, too. I figure that accepting I’m still a work-in-progress may be the best 40th birthday gift of all.