“With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
What a difference twelve months can make.
This time last year, my daughter was just beginning to recognise the holidays and the traditions that come with it. This year, I’m a single mother, creating new Christmas traditions—and a new life—from the ground up.
These holidays, I’m going to try something I’m not very good at. I will practice the task of being present.
No, not presents, although they will likely feature. Being present. Focused. In the now. Aware. Enjoying and appreciating what’s in front of me.
It’s too easy, and all too common, to multitask and think you’re successful at it.
There’s almost a level of cachet that comes with ‘being busy.’ I’m as guilty of it as the next working mother. But I’ve also come to realise that, now with shared custody and 50 per cent less time with my daughter, I have to take advantage of those hours, including by just slowing down and being present.
It won’t be easy.
This Christmas, I’m going to try to not dwell on what could have been or what has recently happened.
I’m taking time off work during the week, switching off from social media, turning down the ringer on my phone, packing away the 2014 planner, and ignoring my growing to-do list. I’m going to stop chastising myself for the bag of laundry waiting by the door.
I plan to only focus my attention on my daughter and myself. The extent of my ‘busyness’ will be dancing around the living room with my daughter. Enjoying the holiday lights in Manhattan. Drinking hot chocolate. Playing board games. Listening to her ... watching her grow. Now.