Thursday, February 27, 2014

How Did I Miss It? I've Been Here The Whole Time!

"It's been a year already, and I missed the whole thing!" That's what I said last week when we were celebrating our baby girl's birthday. The youngest of our 4 children (who I refer to as Petunia here in my noisy corner of the blogosphere) turned 1 last week and I really do feel like I missed the whole year. No, I was not working another job, too involved in activities, or backpacking across Europe. I was here, doing my mommy, wife, and homeschooling thing. Every. Day. I know that time whizzes by fast, and that everything always seems like a blur, but this feeling of  "missing it" feels like more than just time flying.

I suppose it would be easy for me to chalk it up to our absolutely crazy year. We moved across the country just 3 weeks after Petunia was born, and then we moved again just shy of 6 months later. Now that story is a whole series of blog posts within itself! I plan to tell you all about it soon, I'm honestly still processing it myself ;) So every time I talk about how I feel like I missed it, everyone is quick to point to this crazy year. But it's simply not true. Well, maybe it's partially true, but this isn't the first time I have felt this way. I feel this way about all of my children and their "baby year" as I like to call it. I am willing to bet (and really hoping) that I am not the only one who feels this way. Anyone else have that guilty, "bad mom" syndrome come on you when you have to dig out the baby pictures to remind yourself what it was like?

Here's what I think a big part of the problem is: We are all too busy planning and reaching for the future, thinking about the next step, that we are neglecting the now. Sure, we think, things are fine for now, but it will be much better in a few years. It will be much better when we own a house, or have a bigger house with a large backyard for the kids and a garden, or can put on that bedroom addition. We will be happier when we get that raise, or are able to work just one job instead of 3, and have all the debt paid off. Then we will be happy; then we can relax and live. Then we can really start enjoying life. But the truth is, "then" never really comes. Sure we may accomplish the things that are on our list right now, but what we do we do? We add to it. We are always striving for the next step, and that's ok. That's great actually! We should always be moving forward, but when looking toward the future inhibits our ability to be content with and enjoy the now... when it inhibits our ability to be in the present, that's where the problem lies.

I think that a big part of the reason why memories seem fuzzy and I feel like I missed it is because, in a way, I did. I know that I was there, no one else cleaned the poop off the wall, that was ALLLLL me! But my mind was somewhere else. I resolve to be present, in both body and mind. I will strive to be fully invested in "the now", because "the now" is all we really have. When the next birthday comes around, instead of wondering how I missed it, I will be able to say, "Wow, that went fast! Awesome year, I should know, I was totally there!"

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