Friday, October 3, 2014

Still Here (and trying to be present)

Ever been in a phase of life when everyone you see asks you the same question? 

"So how's the wedding planning going?" - To Every Engaged Person
"So how are you feeling?" - To Every Pregnant person
"So how's school?" - To Every person aged 4-22

"So how's Matt? When's the move date?" - To Me

I should just make a shirt with this on it...
This particular image is from THIS Etsy store
that I want to remember so that I can buy stuff from it

So to answer this question for the ba-jillion-ith time: no solid move date yet (yet hoping to solidify plans in the next few days), Matt is still looking for a job and I hope to be out there by the beginning of November. But it's still hard to say.

In the meantime, Matt is out in Portland and I am here in Wilmette. Besides being apart from my best friend for waaaay too long, I'm having a pretty good time. Not because I'm unemployed and spending much quality time with Lucia, friends and family, all super great, but because I feel like I'm really living each day at a time for once in a long while. I have lots of time on my hands and because I'm in this funny transition period, I don't really want to get involved in too much here. I have so much time on my hands that I actually get bored. What a gift. No, for real.

I like being done with being busy for a little while and having time to start the day right with mindful reading, time to be present with Lucia, time to think about eating right (I'm not actually at the 'eating right' part :), time to be outside, to go for walks, do yoga, cook food and take the occasional nap. Basically---time to detox my mind, remember that each day brings it's own troubles and refresh with peace daily.

So right about now, you're thinking "what a pompous jerk. She just has soooo much time on her hands that she takes naps, boo hoo". And I would agree with you BUT it's not actually easy to be bored. You ever tried it? Ever tried being bored and not turning to some sort of device about 3 seconds later? I don't know about you, but when I have a free moment I tend to:

A) check my phone
B) check Facebook
C) turn on the TV

And in that order. It has taken me a while to turn those tendencies off in my brain and decide instead to read a great book, be fully present with my daughter and engage instead of always trying to get something done when I'm with her or sit outside and really notice the beauty of my surroundings. The positive effects on the brain are amazing. Awareness and gratefulness are powerful tools for good. If you know anything about the science of mindfulness then you know that just being aware and grateful in the small moments of your day can literally rewire the brain towards all things good. (The bible is a testament to this but I always love when science backs these ancient ideas up as well.)

As I continue to plan for this transition of moving (by not actually doing that much to prepare for it- oops), I try to stay present here while I'm still here. And as I try to stay fully here, I've noticed something going on in my brain. Whenever I feel content, my brain says to itself something like "okay, this is good, let's remember this so we can get back here when things get rough". Which is fine, except its completely impractical. Anticipating the difficulties that will surely come, my mind wants to stockpile all the good here and bring it along. But it doesn't really work like that. In light of this, my mind jumps to ponder manna, like the manna from the Bible that the wandering Israelites gathered each day to provide for each day. In one translation of the Bible (NIV) it says about the manna that "in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor". This kind of blew my mind. I guess because I've always pictured the whole manna thing in my mind like this: the people asked God for bread and then the clouds opened up and cracker-like bread came immediately, raining down on them as they opened their mouths to catch it like snowflakes on their tongues and each day went on like this as bread miraculously fell from the sky. You know---the movie version. But as it turns out, the manna looked like something totally normal, like flakes on the ground after the dew dried. They didn't even know what it was and Moses had to tell them it was bread.

I guess the amazing thing about all this is that God provided manna every single day as He instructed them to take only what they needed for the day. And this nourishing bread turned out to be something that looked really ordinary to them. Which brings me back to trying to stockpile the good here and now to use in the future. The manna reminded me that it doesn't work like that. I have to show up everyday---meditate on the good, renew my mind, make relationships right--every day. When I show up, God does too, reminding me that sometimes the most profound peace comes in seemingly ordinary moments like reading a great book, being present and engaged with my daughter or noticing my surroundings. And as much as I would like each great moment to last, they don't. But that's a good thing, because then I can enjoy the fleeting goodness now, trusting that there will be more tomorrow...wherever I am.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...