An anxious person by nature, I’m always looking ahead: to the next phone meeting, the next project, the next phone call, the next workout, the next meal, the next event, the next trip, the next milestone … you name it and I’m already ten steps ahead.
It’s just the way my anxious brain works and, as I learned in my first therapy session six years ago (and contrary to popular belief), it’s not such a bad thing to have an anxious mind. The anxious mind can be an asset: yes, it means we’re always “on” … which can be a nuisance to those we are closest to … but it also means we’re usually going to achieve what we set out to do. We’re not likely to stray too far off course.
Because we’re hard-wired like that.
But by thinking ten steps ahead, we often miss what’s right in front of us. And once you add technology (iPhone camera, I’m talking to you!) to the equation, it’s even harder to see what’s in front of us because we’re just plain distracted with all that thinking ahead.
This has never been more evident since becoming a mom three and a half years ago.
I’m gazing at my sweet child building a tower with her blocks, but wanting that next “perfect shot.” And she’s on to me now; she pretty much just won’t do what I’m asking her to do on principle now. (#threenager).
(Of course, Ben is still clueless — he smiles all day every day … I just call his name and get this huge, delicious, gummy, drooly grin. He loves the camera, probably because of my pointy-eared, smiling, owl phone case 😉
I’m feeding Ben, but texting a friend or sending pics to my family from earlier in the evening. I’m in the moment … but not. Here … but five steps ahead. And those five steps ahead are coming between my present and my future.
And so lately I’ve been silently begging for time to stand still … not so I can capture more moments on my camera … but so I can just enjoy the hell out of these little people who are growing up so quickly; too quickly!! Whereas most of my life I was thinking ten steps ahead, when it comes to my kids, I truly do want to be in the here and now.
I want this time to stand still.
While the idea of a walking, talking Ben is mind-blowing and exciting … I love that he just gurgles and squawks and squeals now; that he sits (or lays) in one position, indefinitely … and that’s it! I forgot how fun it is when babies learn to grab things, drop them (throw them!), and begin to understand cause-and-effect. He’s at such a fun stage; six months is the best! Right now it’s all cooing and milky baby breath and nuzzling into my shoulder for comfort.
And while the idea of a reading, writing Maya is mind-blowing and exciting … I love that right now she’s only on the cusp of that. Her innocent world is small and beautiful, as it should be. She’s inquisitive and curious, but hasn’t been jaded by the evils that (unfortunately) do exist in this world. She’s a “big girl” in preschool, using the potty, dressing herself … but she still needs her mommy (in spite of what she may tell you– #threenager, ahem!). She’s still just three.
Both of my kids are at such great stages of their lives, and I don’t want to sacrifice a moment with them just so I can snap a photo or record a video. Of course, it’s hard to resist the temptation when they look so cute or are doing something so funny to not make an effort to capture it … and sometimes I give in.
But I’m doing it less and less these days. I’m a work in progress. And since time can’t stand still, I just have to try to savor what I can.
How about you: Do you find yourself struggling to stay in the moment? How has technology impacted your ability to do so?