Intentionally Embracing the Moment

I have a very hard time living in the moment. I’m a planner and a worrier, so I’m often thinking about what’s coming up. I’m also a second thoughts person. “Should I really have done that? Maybe this would have been better.” Between planning for the future and second guessing the past, I don’t do a good job living in the moment.

But, ya’ll, I have kids who are getting older and older, and I’ve seen the importance of embracing the moment. That little child who was just a toddler is a teenager now. And those days of learning to walk and learning to talk are gone. I’ve also had over 20 years of marriage to a wonderful husband that have just flown by. So I’ve learned to live a little more intentionally, to be deliberate about the time we have to spend together and what I’m doing with that time. If you struggle to live in the moment too, here are some things I’ve learned about embracing the moment.

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It really is true that “The days are long, but the years are short.”

There have been some days I thought would never end. Sick kids, runny noses, dirty diapers, and huge messes- all happened on the same day sometimes. And it seemed as if the day was never ending. But looking back in retrospect, the years have flown. I should still have babies! But now I have teenagers.

You have to take the bad along with the good.

Dealing with wrong behaviors, nursing sick kids, and cleaning up messes are all parts of being a mom. But they are only a very small part. There’s also hugs and kisses and bedtime stories and cuddles and fun trips together. The same is true with marriage. There are times of arguing or disagreeing, but there are some great times of enjoying each other’s company. I can choose too focus on the great things and make a point to enjoy each one fully.

Our loved ones need us to be fully present, fully attentive.

I need to put down the phone, step away from the computer, mute the t.v. I’m the queen of multitasking. But when it comes to doing things with my kids, I need to focus on that one thing so that they know I am fully attuned to what they are doing. When it comes to listening to my husband, he needs to know that I care about what he’s saying.

Sometimes I need to prioritize and focus on what’s really important.

There are always dozens of things that need doing at any given moment. Embracing the moment means choosing the important things and doing those things well instead of trying to do all those things and not doing anything well. If I need to meet with a kid over a school problem, that’s more important than sweeping up the endless rounds of dog hair in my living room- even though the dog hair might be driving me batty. I need to focus on that child and that situation instead of half-heartedly paying attention. Taking the time to find out what things were really important to my husband has helped me to choose what to pay attention to when I had so many things going on.

Choosing to embrace the moment really pays off. Embracing time with my kids as they’ve grown up has resulted in teenagers who- so far- like to spend time with us. Embracing time with my husband has caused us to have a strong relationship this many years down the road.

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