Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Giving thanks and being present
Is your table set for the big day? Thankfully, I am not responsible for that big job in our family yet. Maybe that is why I can look forward to this holiday without the work of hosting or shopping for gifts. I think if Ryan and I ever host we'd be tempted to try a vegetarian Thanksgiving. Given the low enthusiasm that would generate in both our families, I think we're safely off the rotation list for awhile.
I've already accomplished my pre-holiday fast thanks to an unexpected bout with the flu. I am very thankful that I am the only one in the household that came down with it. Ryan handled home and kids with great skill and let me truly rest. The kids were pretty sweet and gave me many hugs and kisses (on the top of my head/knee/ankle/shoulder, so as not to get sick). Of course, Izzy the great cuddler, couldn't really stay away. She came home from school yesterday and sat at the far end of the couch, near my feet. She kept scooting closer and closer, finally ending up nestled under my arm and wrapped around my legs. She slept in bed with me while Ryan slept on the couch. I am so thankful for two year-old snuggles.
I have been thinking about this post for the past week. I am guilty of doing many of the things in this list of "How to miss a childhood." My excuse for carrying my phone around all the time is to take pictures at impromptu moments when my children are doing something funny, cute, amazing. And I do take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. I enjoy looking at them, posting them to Instagram and on this blog. But am I missing the moments that defined those pictures? I wonder.
My phone is a distraction. If it is nearby, I look at it. I check emails, instagram, twitter, whatever. Short blips of news and events, images of other people's lives. It leaves my mind fragmented and unfocused. With my phone in my hand, I am not as effective in whatever I'm doing at the moment - working, parenting, cooking, listening. I'm putting it down.
From now on, my phone stays in my work bag or on the charger when I get home in the evenings. If I want to check emails at home, I will have to make the effort to turn on my laptop (it won't happen nearly as often). If I want to take pictures, I will use my 'real' camera. I will browse Facebook (really losing my interest with all the ads and promos lately) and Instagram on occasion, but you won't see me there as often. Instead, I'll be taking pictures in my mind, living in the present, and giving thanks daily.