I really wanted my word to be one that seemed to find me, rather than one I decided would work best (or would be easiest!). I wanted it to be one that would impact me personally and relate in a positive way to my family. Choosing to pull the Momfulness book from the shelf a few days ago played into this perfectly. The first section is dedicated to presence:
We practice being here, now. We relax into life and stop wanting to be somewhere other than where we are. We realize that our true home is so close to us; it is in this moment; it is in the eyes of our child or in the greeting of our partner or in the hug of a dear friend. Our home is as close as our next breath.
We live in such a fast-paced world, and I find that I am always focusing on what is next. I'm most challenged by this when I am at work. Being away from Rowan is so very hard, and I live for the clock to strike 3:30. I wish away those 8 hours until I get to be back home again, and then I wish for the evening hours to slow down and creep by, so I can immerse myself in my family. I fret for the 25 minute drive to the babysitters, fret while we are getting the kids' things together, and fret for 15 minutes until we get home. I fret about the traffic, I get really annoyed at slow drivers, and I curse red lights.
This constant push and pull and consuming stress is exhausting. I am so focused with the idea of time speeding up and slowing down that I've realized I don't spend enough time living in the moment, being present. I look back on the months since I've been back at work, and they seem like a blur. And I wonder. Did I live in them enough? Or did I spend my time dreading work, rushing through traffic, mourning the end of the evening?
Is there any wonder why I feel imbalanced?
I go back to work tomorrow after 12 days off, and I plan to take it minute by minute. I know I will cry after I drop Rowan off, but I will be present with those tears, not wish them away, not only long for 4:00 when I am with her again. I know work will be very busy, so I will be busy with it, not focus only on 3:30 when I get to leave. On my ride home, I will enjoy the quiet time to myself-- time to pray, to prepare myself for the busyness of homework and the clinginess of an infant who has grown used to her mama 24/7.
As I approach 2012 with a focus on presence and Momfulness, I will work towards finding home in any moment, rather than wishing moments away. For now, I am a working mom, and I have to find a space in my heart for that home, too.