So, I don’t know about you, but this life is spinning by pretty quickly. Sometimes I’ll get to the end of the week and not know how I got there. Entire weeks can become a blur of work and laundry and dog and kid and husband and usually some type of guilt about one of those topics.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about mindfulness, and the quality of our days. Achieving new heights of irony, those thoughts are typically followed by “I really must learn how to be mindful someday.” or “I need to figure out what I want my life to look like now…soon.”
Earlier this week, I was rushing to pick up my kid. As usual, my body was there but my head wasn’t – I had a million thoughts rolling around, most of them worry-inducing. I need to finish that one thing at work…I don’t have anything in the fridge…why can’t I be the kind of mom that has a meal plan and a calendar? Oh, God, I haven’t walked the dog in two days. The lawn is huge. Am I ready for that meeting tomorrow? I hope whatever’s wrong with the car doesn’t cost a bazillion dollars…Blah, blah, blah.
And then, I pass them. It’s a dad and his two sons, maybe ages six and four, on their way out of day camp. Age six says to age four “why is your shirt ripped?” Dad, just noticing, says “Yeah – why IS your shirt ripped?” Age four, annoyed at being asked to remember, says “I DON’T KNOW.”
Now, let’s talk about this kid. His shirt does not just have a small tear in it. It is ripped, hugely, in several places, and in fact looks like he may have been mauled by a bear. He doesn’t remember how it happened, because he is a tiny badass who lives in the moment. Currently, he’s doing that thing where he hangs on his dad and brother’s arms unexpectedly in order to try and get them to swing him between them. He’s irritated that he would be asked to look back at his day, because even if he HAD been mauled by a bear, DUH, he clearly survived it, and now he’s doing THIS.
And I am 100% inspired.
Here I am, worrying about stuff that doesn’t matter in the broad scheme of things, even worrying about finding time to learn to worry less, and this kid’s got it all figured out. All you need to do is to live every moment SO HARD that it’s possible you can’t remember how your clothing ended up hanging off you in tatters. Whatever he had been doing to cause his shirt to look that way, he had done with great force or joy or anger or effort, and then he moved on to the next thing with equal passion.
While it’s true that we know much more about life by the time we’re grownups, we also forget how to live it. I think it’s time to unlearn a few things.
So, the goal for the week is to be 100% in each moment, fully engaged in ONLY THAT THING. If I’m making copies, I’m making copies LIKE A BOSS. If my kid is making me listen to that song about champions for the 20,000th time this week, I’m going to listen like I’m a ten-year-old with the whole world open to me, and let him know I understand why he loves it so much. In short, I’m going to try and live like that tiny Parking Lot Prophet.
And you – may you have a great week. The kind of week where you are living so intensely that you could have been mauled by a bear, but you don’t remember. If I see you walking around in shreds, you’re getting a big thumbs up and some applause.