New year present
I am not much of a resolution maker, though my nutrition intake almost always improves in January after a December plummet. This year I desire a different focus. I am going to call it a present of presence that I will give to myself.
I imagine that there have always been distractions in life that make it hard to be fully present to others and truly live in the moments of life. But the ways to distract and interrupt have multiplied in recent years. Smart phones, head phones and a constant bombarding of instant information make the practice of presence a greater challenge. Multi tasking is rampant, revered and rewarded.
A number of years ago, I had a conversation with a beautiful Australian woman who had spent many a year living in a small hut in Africa with orphaned boys. She was receiving an award and had spent several days in a nice hotel. When I asked her what she was enjoying most about her visit to the US, she said, “the hot showers – they are a luxury”.
This year I want to genuinely experience the luxurious hot showers that have become so routine in my life- slow my racing thoughts and really feel the warm water on my skin. When I spend $4 on coffee, I desire to slowly savor the taste rather than gulping it down. At the dinner table, I hope to have more moments of truly tasting the food prepared, sipping the wine and fully engaging in conversation with those I love. This year I am committing to notice when I am talking on the phone with someone and at the same time checking email – or unloading the dishwasher or driving…. How can I truly listen to someone when my mind is split in two or three? And there is growing scientific evidence that all of this multi tasking has some pretty serious long term effects on memory and brain cells. There qare lots of great reasons to slow it all down,
One of the best is that my husband and children certainly know and feel the difference between a totally distracted wife/mom and one who is engaged and attuned to their needs and life. So as I work to be more in the moment, this present is not just for myself but also a gift to those I love most. Hoping for a year of more moments, hours and maybe even days lived out this way. How about you? Any new year desires? I’d love to hear them. To begin again is a gift in itself.