Tuesday, 15 January 2013
Appreciating the here and now
Every so often I am struck by the wonder of a particular moment I am experiencing. It's a kind of, "wow. There is nothing better I could possibly be doing right now" moment. It happened yesterday afternoon....
My son was home from nursery and I was starting to cook dinner. Both children were in the kitchen with me playing happily while I was preparing vegetables and such like. We had the radio on and a song came on that I started singing along to and dancing to. Then I noticed my one-year old daughter dancing and then my son joined in and the three of us were dancing and laughing there in the kitchen together. That's when I had the thought about what a special moment it was and for several reasons.
It wasn't so long ago when the pre-dinner hours were stressful and a little unpleasant if truth be told. I rarely had the luxury of starting to cook a dinner from scratch at that time, as my daughter was often tired, hungry and generally a bit irritable. If I wasn't holding her or sitting on the floor with her, there would be loud crying and it would be a difficult time for both my son and I. So at that moment in the kitchen yesterday, I got a real appreciation for the fact that those trying times are behind us and that the early evenings generally tend to be a lot more relaxed and enjoyable these days.
I also recognised the fact that my son and daughter can now play together more than they've ever been able to before. My daughter loves 'hiding' under the kitchen table. She'll go under the table and shout 'hello' and will then reappear with a big grin on her face. My son, recognising that his sister likes going under the table, now likes to join her under there and pretend it's their little house. That's what they were doing yesterday before the dancing. It's lovely to see them happily playing together and I think back to when she was a little baby and none of that was even possible. Now they can roll a ball to one another, or push a car back and forth....
Finally, there was the thought that any mother gets often enough, of just how wonderful my two children are, how happy they make me and how thankful I am to have these two little people in my life.
All in all, I was reminded of how important it is to stop and think about the here and now and be as grateful for the good times, as we are challenged by the difficult times. Some days it feels like a mission to make it from breakfast to bedtime, keeping everything together and we tend to focus on what needs to be done next or even wishing away the hours on a bad day. We shouldn't need anything special to happen to make us appreciate the here and now but sometimes we simply forget to look at what's right there in front of us.
When things go well, we often don't even stop to consider them and it's the frustating times that get most of our attention and energy. If we tried to make ourselves look at the here and now, as an outsider might, we'd probably surprise ourselves at just how well things go most of the time. Next time you're doing something, try to resist thinking about what you have to do next or how long is it til their bedtime. Look at what's happening in front of you, be aware and see what you might have otherwise been missing.