Friday, June 17, 2016

Are You Even Paying Attention?

On Friday I drove to Philly for some meetings.  While I was in the car, I decided to listen to a podcast instead of music.  I know I am super behind on these technological advances but this is the first time I have ever listed to a podcast.

I decided to check out Running on Om's podcast, especially the episodes where she interviews Lauren Fleshman who is a professional runner.  I really like Lauren Fleshman's vibe.  She is a runner, a writer and basically takes no bullshit.  During one of the podcasts, she was talking about her son and how she really tries to be present in the moment.

If she is playing with her son, then that is what she focuses on.  If she is having coffee with a friend, then that is what she focuses on.  You get the idea, right?

I have been chewing on this idea for months now.  I know I mentioned it this winter but I have really noticed how Max acts out when I am playing with him, but also on my cell phone.  Or if he is eating dinner and I am washing dishes.  Basically when I am doing anything but hanging out with him.  It used to drive me insane but when I realized he just wanted my attention, I felt really guilty.

As a single mom (not an excuse, but a fact) there is a lot of multi tasking.  There is no one else to walk the dog, do the laundry, cut up 4,987 hot dogs, put snacks in labeled bags and clean all of the fucking glitter (THANK YOU PRESCHOOL) out of his back pack.  I also want some time to myself each night, so I try to get all of this done before he goes to bed.

But when I only see him for 4ish hours a day, that time together is really special and it is important that I am focusing on him during most of that time.  The last thing in the world I will ever do is shell out parental guilt.  We get enough of that from Facebook, school, the world, etc.  But they are only little for such a short period of time and very soon he won't want to be with me.  So I should really treasure this time now.

Given all of that, I am trying to focus on being present.  If we are in the car, I don't turn on the music, I just talk to him or sing to him.  I can't spend all night playing legos or matchbox cars, but I try really hard to sit down for a solid 30 minutes.  Even if I am not playing too, I sit next to him and talk to him.  

This is just one example of being present but it expands over my entire life.  As the queen of multitasking, I started to think that if I am doing three things at once, am I really doing any of them well?  So now I try to do just one thing at a time and finish the task before I move onto something else.  I make endless to do lists so I don't forget but so far no one has died, so I guess I am doing ok.

Do you have the same problem?

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