Living in the moment is something I truly struggle with. I know I’m not the only one with this issue, but I also feel that life abroad, especially for diplomats, brings an interesting nuance to this issue.
You see, I don’t just spend a lot of time wondering what’s going on with everyone else in my family. Worrying about my grandfather. Inquiring about my sister in college. But I spend a lot of time hypothesizing about our future, since we live on this rotational two year calendar. If we are lucky we get three years, or if we are really rolling the dice, DH gets a one year in a third world dump. (He loves the work, but those twelve months are rough!)
So, as the new year turns and everyone else is making resolutions to lose that holiday weight or go paleo, we are making lists. We are making one year lists about where we want to visit before this post is up, we are making two year lists about future assignments, we are making three and four and five year lists trying to postulate upon the back of the one year list. We play a LOT of “Well, if we go x in 2016, then maybe y will come open for 2018…” or “If we do the UT for 2016, then our friend John in will be leaving x in 2017 and maybe we can slide into his spot….” or “Well if we do a UT where will we choose to home base?” or “Well x is off the list until we have a break from dogs, and can afford a new car.” Don’t even get me started on the fact that Little P entering school is on the horizon.
Notice I use the word “we” here. It is H’s job, but the lists upon lists are definitely a “we” thing, usually over drinks, after the kids are in bed.
No wonder I have an insomnia problem.
Occasionally, though, the universe gives me a little reminder to stop. Breath deep. And smell the roses.
A friend told me at some point between Little R being 2 and 3 I would experience the pivotal moment where the kids would magically entertain themselves for a sweet thirty minutes. And when that happened I should try to just take it all in as much as I can. Well, this blessed miracle took place the other day at the playground, and Little R isn’t even 2 yet!
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon- a bit of chill in the air- but quite comfortable nonetheless. We had arrived planning on meeting H for dinner when he finished his work, and to our surprise the playground was empty. It was just the boys and I, in the crisp air as the sun was setting. I sat down on a bench and they went running off to climb and slide and fight bad guys and just generally do their own thing. I got out my nook to read for a bit and then stopped myself. I willed myself to just sit, and listen, and see, and hear. I did this for a whole fifteen minutes I think.
I watched the sun glint off their little blonde heads as they plotted the demise of their monsters.
I took in their rosy cheeks flushed with the exuberance of youth and smiled inwardly.
This is my life. And it is good.
The overwhelming peace that comes with just stopping and listening to the world around you is incredible. In that little moment, even for just a moment, I was able to let go of all the worries and burdens and hypotheses that riddle my brain every single day.
I just sat and was.
I need to make the art of being a daily practice.
Love & Happyness to All,