Monday, June 2, 2008

Easing Up

When it comes to the everyday grind, I'm a task-driven kind of girl. I love a schedule and I love keeping life predictable. I can be perfectionistic at times. I've got control issues. I tend to worry. On the continuum of temperaments, I tend toward the "tightly wound'' end.

I have a very good friend who is my polar opposite. She rarely follows a schedule. She nurses her baby on demand, whenever and wherever. She might be 30 minutes late picking up the kids for carpool because her son didn't feel like finishing his breakfast or brushing his teeth. Her feathers rarely get ruffled. She's a master at "winging it." And while I'm not sure I could ever relax my grip on life to that extent, there's a part of me that would clearly enjoy the peace that comes from easing up a bit.

Enjoying the moment, instead of moving on to the next thing on my to do list is a constant struggle for me. Anna Quinlan says it best:

"...but the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4, and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in a hurry to get on to the next things: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less."

Summer, with its longer days and relaxed schedule, has encouraged me to ease up a little and experience life with my children as it happens. I'm trying to "be" in the moment just a little more, instead of tirelessly working toward the next meal, the next appointment, the next load of laundry or the next bedtime. I'm taking time to revel in the silliness. To enjoy the sticky kisses. To chase lightning bugs in the backyard.

Because the to do list will always be there tomorrow.

The moments with my kids, unfortunately, won't.


mah-meeee said...

i'm a very tightly wounded person too. i've tried many times to 'enjoy' my kids... but it's hard with all the things going on in life.

thanks for the great post. it reminded me that it is summer after all. time to relax abit and unwind.

let me know how winging it goes for you!

Darcie said...

Hey, me too! Guilty as charged.

My husband is the laid back one in the family, and lucky for both of us, his easygoingness has rubbed off on me, if only slightly.

Your post serves as an important reminder that while the dust and dishes will continue to gather, moments are fleeting and should be savored.

Soliloquy said...

GREAT perspective. And yay that you realized it before it was too late, right?

Enjoy your summer!

Janel said...

Oh, what book is that from? I love that and just read it somewhere else. Where where where? I am so happy to see it again.

Great post and awesome reminder@

Domestic Spaz said...

Ug... see... I'm half an hour late and all off schedule... but I'm panicked about it.

I truly am a Spaz. :)

Anonymous said...

I can so relate to this. I have read that Anna quote several times, but each time, it brings a tear to my eye. So true. So important.

Kendra said...

I am taking this and running with it. I have been awful lately about not just sitting and playing with the kids. Thanks for the perspective.

Have a good weekend and enjoy those summer days with your special lil' people. I know I'm going to! :)

Threeundertwo said...

Well said, and I needed to hear it. I just found your blog. I enjoy your writing, and I'll be back.

list mama said...
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Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart said...

Oh, I can relate to this. This was beautifully written.