Truth told, I am not not the most disciplined of people. Exercise comes in bursts- usually as I try to keep pace with my boys during our weekend activities. I do try and plan a good family dinner (sure, I care about what the family eats- but really, it's a little indulgence of mine because cooking is a source of joy for me ;) but- my breakfast and lunch usually consist of coffee and whatever is easiest to eat at my desk while I work. If it's oatmeal- fine. M&Ms- even better. I pick and choose my focus.
But, without fail, one thing I am committed to is being present in the moment. It's easy sometimes. Deadlines (and the gift of a big block of uninterrupted time) will force me to be present and committed to the task at hand. A lazy day at the beach- yep. Easy to focus on my guys and the joy of a childhood day jumping waves and picking shelves. Other times though- not so easy. When I pick my little guy up from school, and there are conversations around me, a list of chores to be done before we get home and my big guy to pick up- I have to really be conscious to stop. Stop. And see what is going on right at this moment. See the little face that lights up as he sees me waiting at the door to pick him up. See the hands clutching a treasure that has been made with such care in class that day. Bend down to his level, and look in his eyes and ask- how was your day? It takes about 4 minutes. Its not long- though sometimes it seems like if I stop for that long, my whole web of responsibilities will collapse . Of course it never does. And I know those few minutes after school are but a passing season. I will ache for them one day. The closest I can get to keeping them is to be present in them. Push pause. To see the moment as it plays in front of me.
You must be present in the time you share with the ones you love. If you take the time to see it, you will get to keep it in your heart forever. I remember one night my family and I were having dinner at my parent's home. It wasn't a holiday or celebration- just a little dinner. It was a crazy week, I had deadlines, the weather was bad, there was a pile of laundry that seemed to be taking on a life of its own. Right before we were set to leave, I thought about asking for a rain date. But then, I thought about my mom who most like spent the day at the market, straightening the house and setting a pretty table. It was getting harder and harder to carve out times like this- it took work. Focus. So, we packed in the car, and drove out to their house. I remember it was a good time- and we stayed longer than we should have, it being a school night. But the food was great- and the talk even better. A bit after dessert, my Dad excused himself. He was so tired, he could barely keep his eyes open. He said his good-nights and walked towards his room. I remember- Lord as my witness- I remember feeling a little sad as he walked away. Sad for the times once upon a time ago I was the little girl in this house and Dad would tuck me in. So I called out to him- "Hey- where's my kiss?" I am silly that way. Kiss hello. Kiss goodbye. Even if I'm going around the corner for a few minutes for groceries- gotta give a little kiss. :) If we are on the phone- I always end with an "I love you". There were times mom and dad would hand up after a chat- and it would hit me we didn't say it. I'd call right back, and they always laugh as they answer.."Yes, Renne- I love you!"
That night, he almost got away without a smooch. But when I called out to him, he shook his head and laughed a bit. I gave him a kiss on the cheek and a big hug. A hug. Three seconds of holding on with all your heart and letting someone feel how darn much you love them. Three seconds. These were the last three seconds I got to show my dad how much I loved him. He passed away unexpectedly two days later. And all I can say is that I am glad we both saw how important it was. To stop. Be present. See that this moment is for living and living right now.