This article was extracted from the daily emails.
Monday, last week was a crazy ride of a day. First, it was my son’s one year old birthday, and we were planning a big party – 24 adults and 8 babies. Second, we were notified that we’d won the Good Mood Gig contest!
The day consisted of a lot of running around, last minute shopping, cooking for over twenty people, writing the announcement blog post, and taking part in the excitement on facebook. I don’t think I ate anything all day until 9pm.
The party was a success, people looked like they had a good time. We had loads of food, helium balloons, and a lot of red wine to keep many of the adults happy. Ryan was properly dressed in a suit vest with a red tie, and brown dress pants.
I ran around, making sure the food was all laid out, that people got drinks, and that everyone had their photo taken in our makeshift portrait studio we had temporarily setup in the garage (Photos from the party can be seen here).
When everyone left for the night, Ryan was asleep in his room, Jeremy went to the gym, and our moms were in the kitchen putting away leftovers; I was left standing in our empty living room, with colorful helium balloons floating happily in the air, baby toys spread out on the floor, and traces of cake left on tables, the floor and chairs by all our adorable young guests.
Despite a lot of excitement, I felt a little empty. I had spent so much energy running around, making sure everyone was happy, that I wasn’t very present. I wasn’t really fully here, enjoying the party, or spending quality time with Ryan.
You know that feeling, like you’re running 100 miles an hour, in a race through life, doing something that you thought was important, only to slow down and realize that you’re not fully enjoying it? That you weren’t present? That your mind was elsewhere, while your body was moving with the rhythms of what you’re expected to do?
I don’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the party, or that it wasn’t important. I really loved seeing all our friends who took the time to come by. I loved seeing the babies play and smile. I loved preparing for the party – buying party hats, and thinking about what to feed everyone. I just wished that I were more present when everything took place. I wished that I were in less of a rush, and more established in the peaceful place within me.
In a way, psychologically, I feel like I’ve missed out on Ryan’s party, because I wasn’t really there, mentally. Too much of my focus was on our guests, and making sure everything went okay.
At around 1am that same night, as I was in my office writing down these thoughts, I heard the familiar sound of a baby crying from across the hall.
Usually, (especially when both grandmas are in the house) I would wait for one of the grandmas or Jeremy to get up first. My mother-in-law has an especially gifted touch with babies, and she can magically put Ryan to sleep better than any of us.
But on this night, I got up from my desk, walked into Ryan’s room, and picked him up from his crib. I wrapped him in a warm fleece blanket, and sat down in his glider. We rocked and rocked. And I hushed and hushed, until he fell asleep on my chest.
He is so big now. His once tiny body, which could fit entirely on my chest, is now all stretched out; he’s now so long, his legs and feet dangling off the side of the glider. I could feel his legs brushing against me with each rock of the chair.
His head lay gently on my right shoulder. And I could hear the soft hiss of his breath, whispering dreams of bliss in my right ear.
I leaned forward slightly to kiss his forehead and told him how much I loved him, and how blessed I was to be his mom. And I whispered happy birthday.
He has taught me so much about love, in the unique way that only a child can teach his mother. Tears rolled down my face, and I was filled with this enormity of love that burst out of my physical body, surrounding us, wrapping us, taking us in and keeping us warm.
I am thankful that I got another “chance” to be with him on this special day – a day that marked the one-year anniversary of the day that changed my life forever; the day that I was granted with the biggest blessing of my life – the day that I became a mother.
Suddenly, those mind created problems, which were nibbling at me during the day, melted away. Everything else, especially problems from the past of which I have little control over, became less irrelevant or interesting. And being fully present in this moment, sitting here in the dark, holding my little boy, became the most rewarding, fulfilling, and joy-filling experience. It was magical.
I felt love and I felt loved.
I was reminded that everything that’s important to me was in this house right now – my son, husband, mother, in-laws, my blog, and our dog tommy. And that whenever I find my mind wandering off to some land of nothing, distracting me away from this moment, or causing me negative feelings, I will return to being present.
If anything that I spend my energy on doesn’t contribute towards the wellness of those people and things most important to me, I will stop, and re-shift my focus. That is my new motto.
This day has been an important day. I felt that I’ve reached a new plateau in my own “inner awakening”. I felt an important shift that took place in my being. I’ll expand on this topic soon.
Until then, wishing you peace, clarity and happiness.
P.S. Want more articles than the blog posts on this site? I’m trying something new, and are experimenting with daily writing that reflects on something I’ve learned each day. This article was extracted from the daily emails. You can subscribe here to receive my “Thought of the day” emails.