Learning to be present in the now before it’s all gone.

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I have been having a difficult time lately with doing too much and being too productive and not realizing the cost. I write books, make vlogs, and then there is homemaking, homeschooling, raising little boys, the kitchen gardens now that spring is in full bloom and so on.

I love all that I do but suddenly I hit the wall and I spread myself so thin that all that I do is half a#$ed.  I’m not doing that great at anything because I’m not present in my daily to do’s, I’m off making more list and planning other projects…while doing a chore at that moment.

I look at my boys that are now five and seven and realize that this time is beyond precious gold and is slipping through my fingers. I’m impatient with them because I’ve put so many things on my roster, I don’t really hear them when they tell those yummy and imaginative stories because my mind it thinking about what I need to accomplish on my Channel or to finish a book. They asked me to play and I say, “I have chores.” Or “I need to get this done.”

I have changed since building a writing career and starting a YouTube Channel and now I need to change back quite a bit.

I have long since rid myself of most media such as Twitter (never found it useful or interesting), Tumblr, LinkedIn, and deleted my FaceBook (best move ever)…oh, and Instagram (didn’t know I even had that). I rarely post on here whereas it used to be daily and I don’t take many calls. However, I am too consumed with YouTube and writing and it is a greedy companion that is taking demanding my life.

So, I had the classic meltdown and enlightenment between the hours of one and three in the morning the other day and all things came to a halt. Full stop, as I hear in some British films.

Yesterday I was completely present with the boys and my homework. I read to them in the morning and listened to them all day. I used to read to them all throughout the day and when they spoke to me I would put down what I was doing, turn to face them and look them in the eyes, listening as I would to a friend. These children are the loves of my life after all.

I stayed off the computer completely and stayed in the kitchen cooking and baking, washing out the fridge, and had my small Chromebook on listening to a session by Dr. Joe Dispenza regarding the healing of our minds and making huge personality changes. I had a candle lit and plants in the sink that I was watering and feeding. I was loving my home, my family and taking time to be present for all of us, including me.

I feel like I’m not really succeeding at much, just juggling many things. I feel like I want more from life but not sure what. I feel like I’m tired of being frugal and so uptight about funds. I feel like I want to live a little more, work hard much less, and thrive effortlessly.

I feel the only way to be happy, heal our inner hurts, love our lives, grow in every way, and be in gratitude is to be present and to meditate. To learn to focus on one thing at a time and not load our plates daily. It’s ok to just do one small chore or be totally present in one activity. At. A. Time.

I come from a more mellow age. We didn’t have cell phones, computers were just starting, reality TV, YouTube, Twitter…nothing. We hung out, we talked, we didn’t have little handheld devices to bury our heads in. When we were with friends we were with friends, at work we were at work, and when at home we were at home finding something to create or clean or do.

I used to be so proud of my multitasking abilities and how I could do so much in such little time. It’s a curse actually. It’s nothing to be proud of at all. One becomes a slave to their work. They live to work and not work to live.

I watched a Netflix documentary called Walk With Me and it follows a group of monks in France led my Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh. It’s a nice, pleasant documentary with a lot of quiet walking (this could be very boring for some). It got me thinking about this rushing and doing thing with all that frenzied energy.

So, I did this yesterday. I slowly worked in the kitchen, I slowly worked in my gardens, I was tuned in to my little ones or Dr. Joe Dispenza. I hung the laundry outside slowly, I weeded the melon patch while focusing on the birds.

I did not get on the computer, answer emails, comment back on YouTube, or write a single dingle word.

I went back to a time when my family lived on a fruit farm and my boys were really little and still nursing. I wasn’t writing back then and YouTube was a new thing to me. I spent my days sitting outside in our lovely yard under a huge olive tree reading books and letting the little ones play in the sandbox or roll around in the grass. I would cook dinner and do chores but I just had this nice, quiet country life. I was never busy and I was consumed with nothing. I was mom and homemaker.

I’m going back to that before it’s too late.  I’ve already wasted a few years building my writing career and now I can’t get those years back. I want to stare at my boys and watch them grow and hear all there crazy little ideas and stories. I want to savor each moment and lite my candles, knead my bread dough, watch my plants grow, and slow down. Before it’s all gone. The books can wait. The Channel can wait.

This morning I woke up happy and I am writing this because the blog was a slower time for me. I could enjoy writing a little something before the children woke up. I am in bed now with my coffee and watching them sleep, listening to my morning doves and the train in the distance.

Today I will meditate. I will play even in my daily chores. I will take the boys to a park and I will climb the ladders and swing with them. I may even read a novel outside while they play in the yard.

Just like the old days.

 

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21 thoughts on “Learning to be present in the now before it’s all gone.

  1. This is a worthy goal. I love it! I just read in one of my many books a sentence that made total sense. ‘you can’t have all the balls up in the air at the same time. Inevitably a few will fall.’ We can only, really truly focus on one aspect of our lives at a time, was the point. Honor that which is your focus at this time. If it’s family, health, career, home, it doesn’t matter, just give that focus your energy and time. I do love your writing, but understand the need to slow down and focus on family and home. I wish you the best in this endeavor and look forward to any future musings you may put in writing. Bless you!

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  2. I can certainly relate (though my kids are a bit older and I don’t homeschool). I just feel so rushed all the time with a million things going through my head that I need to do or want to do and I always find myself putting all that mess ahead of spending time with my kids. I’m always trying to juggle so many things that I can’t just focus on one thing and complete it well because I’m jumping around (perfect example, the pile of books on my desk I’ve started but haven’t finished before starting another). Ugh… Life was definitely simpler before all this technology, and I love my technology, but more often than not it’s definitely more of a distraction and a burden than anything else.

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    1. And we can have some of the technology but sparingly and for the good of our lives and families. Too much doesn’t serve us, I little can be educational depending on how you use it. We almost have to forced and retaught how to slow down.

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  3. I had a reply all done on WordPress but had a senior moment and deleted it in error. Well Kate, you have hit the nail on the head. To quote The Beatles, still one of MY favorite bands (lol) Life is very short and there’s no time….every day has the routine, the mundane, the tasks required of us, the unexpected and a few fleeting moments when we rest our minds and rejuvenate.

    I do my housework not on camera, thank you, because I am so manic running around getting it done. After the house is sparkling I take a ride out to a thrift store or for some veggies. Afternoon is laundry and doggie time with my two geriatric dogs who have the same limited time left for them. I want to savor the time they have left, my besties through thick and thin.

    Please don’t feel obligated to anyone who watches your videos. You are entitled to do what you want, when you want and how you want. I enjoy your honest,frank ways but would rather you be happy than to feel obligated to entertain me or anyone else.

    Life speeds by. I look I the mirror in amazement and wonder who is that old woman looking back at me. In the afternoon I get dinner ready and the hubby comes home around supper time. We eat, watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy then we’re usually asleep by 8:30pm. The 4:00am alarm is relentless for the next month anyway. 39 years of marriage and his job and it’s retirement time. Oh boy, another adventure.

    I love.watching your life but if you aren’t living in the moment and merely providing entertainment that is something you need to fix. A video every other day? I’m sure you will make it work.

    Your blog post was very heartfelt. Thank you for sharing.

    Love,

    Anne

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    1. Thank you so much for this and yes, I love making the videos but I went coocoo. Now I will do all of it differently. The past few days I’ve changed it all. I stopped everything and I play in the house, in the gardne and with the boys and we are all much happier. I will feel obligated to no one but my children. Amen!

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  4. And then, pulvis et umbra. Surely, this and Thinking is STILL the best way to travel, Kate. The best way indeed.

    The Chevalier de Bali Bari Professional Pilgrim and Prosaic Phool 😇

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  5. Dear Kate, You already ARE busy. You are raising your children and making a home for your family. That in itself is a lot. I know you and Bali have plans for the future, and perhaps you are YouTubing, etc., to help meet that goal. But in the end, I’m sure your ultimate goal is to raise your boys and have a happy marriage and family life. One that you be able to look back on (in the blink of an eye), and be happy that you were present as much as you needed to be to feel happy about your efforts. You are right, what you have now is pure gold. Don’t waste it in a frantic hunt for a few copper and nickel coins. Slow down, enjoy your life and its blessings, everything will work out in the end. Take Care, Thrifty Lisa

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  6. Well said. I regularly read another blog, g’donna, and she has a lovely slow and thoughtful pace to her world. She often writes of how to create this quieter life, and I was thinking of her as I read your words this am. I too am working hard to slow down and stay in the present. ;). It is good to have a challenge! Thank you for the blog update, I do enjoy your writing.

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  7. You are basically a working mom even though you are working from home . In addition you home school- and cook and clean. Too much for one person . I would stop the YouTube channel. Don’t be hard on yourself- also I’m thinking you might like some mire adult interaction during the week with other mom friends . You are great and I love reading and watching you!

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    1. I agree and thank you. I am doing too much and the last few days I stopped everything but being with my boys and enjoying creative work in my house and garden. I am so much happier and the boys are loving this time.

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  8. You won’t regret spending time with what’s most important! I was reading a book on Heartbreak and Heart Disease, it had a chapter in there about parents and how they can set up a child to be prone to heart disease later in life. Create a survey of several children and found that children equate playing with them as love. If the child said their mom didn’t love them they found out it was because the mom didn’t play with them. That really opened my eyes and I’m making more of an effort to be present with my kids. Also, adults who were over scheduled as children (sports, activities, etc) go on to develop heart issues later in life. Childhood is the foundation of so many things and we won’t regret that we strived to help our kids grow up as well-adjusted adults.

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  9. As we get older we realize the importance of slowing down and just being present in the tasks we do for others as well as ourselves. When I get doing to much I tend to write down the tasks and projects I am wanting to do and then prioritize them. Particularly when feeling overwhelmed with it all. Homemaking is more than just doing the dishes and washing our clothes. Everyone here knows this, I’m sure of it. Never feel bad about needing to give something up for a while or completely, in order to be able to relax and enjoy your life. We all only have one life to live. Live it to the fullest and enjoy those special moments with your sons. They grow up fast.
    Cheers.

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