This is my official Thanksgiving post. At first I considered writing about being thankful…making a viritual list of things I’d place at the altar to gratitude. On this list would be the obvious; spouse, kids, friends, shelter. Then, I considered making a list of obscure things I’d place on that altar. Then, I scrapped the whole thing. It occurred to me that there was some deeper work for me around this. Being present…especially to those people and tasks I might put on that list.
It’s not enough to simply acknowledge the existence of these people and things and tasks once a year publicly, near a holiday that Hallmark insists is about gratitude. I need to come to a place of acknowledgement here, now, in the daily, the ordinary time…say it with me, “the quotidian.”
So, I’m working a lot on being present…when I’m parenting mainly but also in less obvious things…when I’m driving, when I’m cooking. I worry myself a little because I’ve been spacing out A LOT. I mean, A LOT.
As an aside, I have to say that I imagine in those spacing out moments the absolute weirdest things, ask myself the oddest questions. One time I thought while I was driving, “What if I just suddenly forgot how to drive?” and imagined the results of that so clearly that I panicked myself a little. Does anyone else ever do that? If you have, please raise your hand because it would make me feel loads better, it really would.
I romanticize the space out time too. I just think, maybe there is something weird and mystical happening close by and I’m somehow a part of it all which is fine if I’m not driving, parenting or cooking. Those tend to be activities that can turn ugly and downright dangerous if they remain unattended for any length of time.
The danger here is not just that some random freak accident will happen but rather that over time I will begin to believe that “there” really IS better than “here.” That might actually be true in some cases, I mean it would be better to be sitting on a beach instead of doing math with my son and yet…would it BE better or would it maybe, just FEEL better? I’d feel better on the beach, I freakin hate math…but I love my son, I love BEING with him. It’s not going to feel good to sit and do math with him.
In that moment though what I need is to remember about “being” instead of feeling. It doesn’t feel good to do the laundry or go to the store or drive the kids around but there’s something in it for me when I show up, I have to believe that or really, what is the point in the long run?
And so I’m working on showing up, being present, being in the moment, being here…
and breathing in the sacred scent that saturates everything, even the smallest parts of the story.