I went swimming the other day in an effort to do some exercise and calm my busy mind and I realised although I’d be in the pool for 20 minutes I’d been at work the whole time! In my head, I’d been at my desk, sent some emails, dealt with a few jobs that had been niggling, even had a few conversations – all whilst swimming up and down… my mind kept travelling to work.
I desperately tried to bring myself back to the pool but it was a real battle. My head wanted to be at work more than it wanted to be swimming. In the brief moments I could fully place myself in the pool in true mind, body and spirit, swimming was a revelation. The silky feel of the water, the play of light of the water on the walls, the sensation of movement and the push of my body just moving ahead. It wasn’t about speed or exercise, just about my being there, really being there. Not being at work, not being in my head, just being.
I’ve always prided myself in my ability to multi-task. It’s a skill I learnt early on in my business and it’s the only way I can get everything done. But its more than it, it gives me time to get everything just right. Being a perfectionist and wanting things to be as beautiful as they can be is important to me. I’ve realised lately I’ve put this over and above anything else. It’s more important than spending time with my little boy, more important than family and friendships but lately I’ve realised the costs are too high.
My son has just turned 2 and his babyhood has gone so fast. I know everyone says this, but I know the true reason. It’s because although I’m with him in person, I’m often apart from him – in mind and spirit. He gets my fragmented attention, sometimes I’m writing a list in my head or planning something at work. I used to tell myself it was the only way I could get everything done, he’s only small so he doesn’t know and it doesn’t matter. But, I know what it feels like to be with someone who’s thinking about something else. Someone who has got empty eyes and isn’t really concentrating.
But what I’ve now realised is there is actually a price to pay. Not at the time, but afterwards, it feels like a missed connection. Something is gone but not truly lived. I’ve missed out on just hanging out with my boy. AND, my list of jobs hasn’t got any smaller so I haven’t really achieved anything.
So in an effort to start truly living my life authentically, I’m setting myself some weekly tasks. (the overachiever in me likes to do things this way!) Task one is below. I’m going to do this for a week and see if it makes a difference. Want to try it with me?
Task one – Only do one thing at a time
Any mums on the first day on half term? why don’t you give it a try this week? Just do one thing at a time and be fully present. The reaction from your kids getting a Mum who’s all there will show if it’s worthwhile… I am interested to hear your feedback and how it works with different aged children