balance

Slow Down

It feels like a good time of year for a restart. It’s fall – a time when many are transitioning from the hectic and sunny days of summer to the cold and cozy days of winter.

This time of year is always a fresh start for our family. The weekend before Thanksgiving was the last weekend of farmers markets for Tamara; that means her farm work will slow down and she’ll be less busy and more available for family time. It also means Edgar will be home with Tamara and J.J. more often, which I think is going to help him to have a happier and more restful winter.

Life has felt really chaotic these past few weeks. I’ve been back at work for three weeks, and that’s still been a big adjustment, navigating the new job and meeting new people and being oh-so-tired at the end of the day. It’s been challenging, trying to find time to exercise, and my diet has been awful – lots of candy and junk food and caffeine.

I actually found it helpful to look back at this post from a few months after Edgar came home. It was November 2016, and I was riding the struggle bus, trying to figure out how to be a parent while also practicing self-care. That’s where I am now, too, except that it’s twice as difficult. When Edgar came home, it was fairly easy to just leave him cuddling with Tamara and go for a two-mile run. Now, there are TWO little boys who need to get situated before I can engage in any meaningful self-care.

This week, as I contemplated what kind of a fresh start I wanted to make, I had one basic goal: slow down. 

Life has been zooming by recently, and I’ve started to feel overwhelmed and a little depressed. One of the signs I’ve noticed for me is constantly watching Netflix, having it on in the background wherever I am and whatever I’m doing. (Even playing with the boys!)

I have tried to consciously slow down my life this week. Whenever there is a pause in the activity around me, I have done my best to bring myself fully into the present moment.

Whenever I slow down, I start to consider mindfulness and meditation and the role I want them to play in my life. They are inextricably connected, my tendency to move quickly and my habit of living in the past or the future rather than the now.  I’ve made so many attempts at living in the moment, and I constantly have to re-commit to being present. I have to remind myself of the way I’ve been taught to meditate: you sit, and you are present and centered. And then thoughts pop into your head – they always do – and you gently bring your mind back to the present moment.

That’s my whole life – I find my center, and then a million thoughts and needs and wants crash into me. And then, I have to gently bring myself back to the present moment. My whole life is a mindfulness meditation practice.

So – can I try this, yet again? Can I try to totally live in the moment? Can I try to slow things down so that I am genuinely enjoying the life that I’m living, instead of always being caught up with the past and the future?

Slow down, and live in the moment.  That’s my mantra as we move into this busy, wonderful holiday season.

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