Sometimes we get the opportunity to learn a lesson in being present, in staying present. Those lessons are big. Indispensable.
This past weekend, the kids and I went up to my parents’ on the Sunshine Coast. My kids hadn’t seen them since Christmas, as they just recently got home from wintering in California. I took my computer with me, and although I planned to spend time with my family, I had also planned to spend lots of time catching up on BSchool work, and working on my website. I also had big plans to go for one or two runs on a particular trail that I adore on the coast.
I never opened my computer once. And I only ever donned my runners to go the grocery store.
Instead, I spent hours playing dominoes, cards, and board games with my kids. Kid #3 and I spent a day cooking and assembling meals to stock my parents’ freezer. We all watched movies and documentaries together. Kid #3 and I cleaned out and organized closets for the ‘rents. I snuggled my kids. A lot. I hugged my mama. A lot.
And it was the best weekend I’ve spent in a long time.
I was present the whole time. I stopped obsessing about my to-do list. I realized that all of these things I was doing with and for my family…they were all every bit as important as the shit that’s still on my business and school to-do list. Probably more.
When I worked through Danielle LaPort’s The Desire Map at New Year’s, I also set my goals and intentions for the year. I set 5. One was about my physical space, one was about professional development, one about singing, one about business, and one about spending more time with my family.
Amazing how easy it was to put aside everything else I had on my list when I realized that one of the 5 main priorities I had set for myself this year was to be present with my family. And here I was in a situation that was primed and beautifully ready for me to be engaged with my family, and be of use to my family.
Kind of a no-brainer.
It only took me 40 years to get it: multi-tasking is complete fucking bullshit. (That’s another post altogether.) I’m really making an effort to be fully present in whatever I’m doing, instead of trying to divide myself between a handful of things. Mo’ bettah. So much mo’ bettah.
Now when I’m not with my kids, I can give my attention 110% to whatever I’m doing, and when I am with my kids, I am totally with them. Not feeling guilty about having my computer in my lap and having my attention split – feeling guilty for not getting work done well, AND feeling guilty for nodding and “uh-huh”-ing my way through the evening, then having no idea what they talked to me about.
Full attention = fully present = so much less guilt = get so much more accomplished = SO MUCH MORE JOY. ~ Tweet it!
It also means that if I do have to say to my kids that I have to work for an hour or two, I really don’t feel as bad, because I know after that, I’ll be really with them.
This weekend just brought it all out in glowing technicolor. Beautifully luminous technicolor.
The people I love are a priority in my life. Therefore I choose to spend more time with them. And the time I’m with them is fully present. ~Tweet it!
End of story.
I’d love to hear how you spent your Easter weekend! Tell me in the comments below how your long weekend unfolded. And even moreso, how do you focus or multitask your time with your family?