"...I am so befuddled right now.  My brain is so full and I have so many things to remember & accomplish & I'm just not doing well...even with making lists.  I feel like I'm 80 years old or something.  It is driving me nuts & I don't know how to fix it..."

This was part of an email from a dear friend this past week, used with her permission.  Because seriously- don't we all feel this way sometimes?  I do.  A lot.  I walk into the kitchen only to stand there, looking dazed and confused and absolutely unaware of why I went there or what I was looking for in the first place.  Life with a new baby?  Probably.  Will it go away?  Who knows?

I've been thrown a few curve balls lately.  And I have to tell you- I hate baseball. 
Life is busy, life is stressful.  I had this weird notion (where it came from, I haven't a clue) that once I was out of college, life would slow down.  It didn't.  Well, maybe once I got married, life would slow down a little.  Oh wait, no.... once I had a baby and I got to stay home with him, THEN life would slow down.  Yeah.... not so much.
And don't you know that time just goes faster and faster the older you get?  It's true.  Totally true.  So after we encountered a (big) kink this past week in some big plans we had, I decided I needed to figure out how to stop for a bit and just breathe.  The answer came in the shower.  Because the truth is, the shower is just about the only place a mother can be alone.  Even being on the throne doesn't guarantee solitude when there are littles in the house.  Seriously. 

So I was standing in the shower and suddenly realized how much I liked the smell of my facewash and how the shower was deafening and I could hear nothing but the water.  And I started making a mental list (I do love my lists!) of all the things I miss out on each day that I shouldn't be missing out on.  I've made a new goal to stop, and be still more often each day.  It may not bring back my memory (maybe it will?), but it certainly makes me appreciate the simple things that make my life happy.  Here are a few examples of things I'm going to appreciate more, by slowing down and taking the time to do so.  Feel free to sit for a minute and enjoy, as well.

With the eyes:
-Step away from dinner/bathtime/work/etc. and go outside shortly before dusk, just to watch the sun set.  Pretty sad that most of the sunsets I see are by accident when we're in the car.  I should be doing that every.single.day.
-Lay on the grass and find animals and shapes in the clouds.  Yes, it's just as much fun now as it was when I was 6.
-Look at peoples' profiles, the way they're built, facial structure.  It's totally intriguing.  Little Rowan happens to have the sweetest profile I've ever seen (see below).

With the ears:
-Birds, in the morning.  As much as I'd like to (then why don't I?!), I don't generally lay in bed when I wake up.  I get up.  I get going.  The day has started.  And because I don't lay there, even for just 30 seconds, I don't ever hear the birds.  The other day I thought to myself, "Geez- there sure aren't very many birds in Southern California!" only to realize today that really, I just haven't been listening.
-My children laughing and singing.  Their voices are so sweet and all too often, it just becomes background noise.  I need to sit and listen.  Better yet, I need to sit and listen and record them with the flip camera, so I can remember.
-James Taylor, my very very very favorite musician.  Ever.  Seriously- check this out- just sit and listen for a bit, then play it again.  The first time I heard him sing this live was in '94 at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and it was very truly a defining moment in my life.  Sounds so cheesy, but it's true.  It brings tears to my eyes every time I hear him sing it, and it's becoming the token bedtime song at our house.  (Chills & tears, right now, listening to it...)

With the nose:
-Take the time to just breathe in the shower and smell all the yummy things: facewash, bodywash, shampoo.
-Candles.  I'm not inclined to light them often, living in the heat of So Cal, but I should because I love this smell.
-Hold this babe of mine and just smell her goodness.  What is it about babies that smells so good?  I don't know, but I need to take advantage before it's gone.

With touch:
-Massage.  Duh, right?  I don't do this often enough, and every time I do, I realize how overdue it was!  My back takes the brunt of much of what I do each day, and I'm resolving to have JT dig his elbows into my delts more often.
-Hold hands.  When's the last time you held hands?  I very much enjoy holding hands with my children and I try not to let go even after we've crossed the street.  Now to figure out how to hold JT's hand more often (hard when there are a number of little hands always needing to be held).
-Wrap up in a soft blanket and enjoy.  I'm one who always loves to be covered up- I hate sleeping uncovered, even in the dead of summer.  And anyone who knows me well knows that I love quilts and blankets, so this one will be easy for me.
-Enjoy the feeling of fresh, clean sheets.  I love going to bed at night and the feeling of relaxing all of my muscles and getting comfy in my bed.  Crisp clean sheets only adds to that feeling of relaxation.
-Spend an extra minute in the shower and enjoy the feeling of hot water hitting the skin.  Life is too rushed, and one extra minute in the shower will do me much good, I think.

With taste:
-Good dark chocolate and letting it melt in the mouth.  Mmmm...
-Tangy fresh limeade.
-The complex taste of my grandmother's old English cranberry pudding with hard sauce... not for the unsophisticated tastebuds!

This list isn't complete.  More than anything, I want to savor my life, not simply live it.  There are too many joys that I miss out on because I'm rushed, or simply not paying attention.  I'm resolving to be more attentive and love myself enough to slow down, feel things more often, and live.

BlogRow_9126.jpg


"...I am so befuddled right now.  My brain is so full and I have so many things to remember & accomplish & I'm just not doing well...even with making lists.  I feel like I'm 80 years old or something.  It is driving me nuts & I don't know how to fix it..."

This was part of an email from a dear friend this past week, used with her permission.  Because seriously- don't we all feel this way sometimes?  I do.  A lot.  I walk into the kitchen only to stand there, looking dazed and confused and absolutely unaware of why I went there or what I was looking for in the first place.  Life with a new baby?  Probably.  Will it go away?  Who knows?

I've been thrown a few curve balls lately.  And I have to tell you- I hate baseball. 
Life is busy, life is stressful.  I had this weird notion (where it came from, I haven't a clue) that once I was out of college, life would slow down.  It didn't.  Well, maybe once I got married, life would slow down a little.  Oh wait, no.... once I had a baby and I got to stay home with him, THEN life would slow down.  Yeah.... not so much.
And don't you know that time just goes faster and faster the older you get?  It's true.  Totally true.  So after we encountered a (big) kink this past week in some big plans we had, I decided I needed to figure out how to stop for a bit and just breathe.  The answer came in the shower.  Because the truth is, the shower is just about the only place a mother can be alone.  Even being on the throne doesn't guarantee solitude when there are littles in the house.  Seriously. 

So I was standing in the shower and suddenly realized how much I liked the smell of my facewash and how the shower was deafening and I could hear nothing but the water.  And I started making a mental list (I do love my lists!) of all the things I miss out on each day that I shouldn't be missing out on.  I've made a new goal to stop, and be still more often each day.  It may not bring back my memory (maybe it will?), but it certainly makes me appreciate the simple things that make my life happy.  Here are a few examples of things I'm going to appreciate more, by slowing down and taking the time to do so.  Feel free to sit for a minute and enjoy, as well.

With the eyes:
-Step away from dinner/bathtime/work/etc. and go outside shortly before dusk, just to watch the sun set.  Pretty sad that most of the sunsets I see are by accident when we're in the car.  I should be doing that every.single.day.
-Lay on the grass and find animals and shapes in the clouds.  Yes, it's just as much fun now as it was when I was 6.
-Look at peoples' profiles, the way they're built, facial structure.  It's totally intriguing.  Little Rowan happens to have the sweetest profile I've ever seen (see below).

With the ears:
-Birds, in the morning.  As much as I'd like to (then why don't I?!), I don't generally lay in bed when I wake up.  I get up.  I get going.  The day has started.  And because I don't lay there, even for just 30 seconds, I don't ever hear the birds.  The other day I thought to myself, "Geez- there sure aren't very many birds in Southern California!" only to realize today that really, I just haven't been listening.
-My children laughing and singing.  Their voices are so sweet and all too often, it just becomes background noise.  I need to sit and listen.  Better yet, I need to sit and listen and record them with the flip camera, so I can remember.
-James Taylor, my very very very favorite musician.  Ever.  Seriously- check this out- just sit and listen for a bit, then play it again.  The first time I heard him sing this live was in '94 at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and it was very truly a defining moment in my life.  Sounds so cheesy, but it's true.  It brings tears to my eyes every time I hear him sing it, and it's becoming the token bedtime song at our house.  (Chills & tears, right now, listening to it...)

With the nose:
-Take the time to just breathe in the shower and smell all the yummy things: facewash, bodywash, shampoo.
-Candles.  I'm not inclined to light them often, living in the heat of So Cal, but I should because I love this smell.
-Hold this babe of mine and just smell her goodness.  What is it about babies that smells so good?  I don't know, but I need to take advantage before it's gone.

With touch:
-Massage.  Duh, right?  I don't do this often enough, and every time I do, I realize how overdue it was!  My back takes the brunt of much of what I do each day, and I'm resolving to have JT dig his elbows into my delts more often.
-Hold hands.  When's the last time you held hands?  I very much enjoy holding hands with my children and I try not to let go even after we've crossed the street.  Now to figure out how to hold JT's hand more often (hard when there are a number of little hands always needing to be held).
-Wrap up in a soft blanket and enjoy.  I'm one who always loves to be covered up- I hate sleeping uncovered, even in the dead of summer.  And anyone who knows me well knows that I love quilts and blankets, so this one will be easy for me.
-Enjoy the feeling of fresh, clean sheets.  I love going to bed at night and the feeling of relaxing all of my muscles and getting comfy in my bed.  Crisp clean sheets only adds to that feeling of relaxation.
-Spend an extra minute in the shower and enjoy the feeling of hot water hitting the skin.  Life is too rushed, and one extra minute in the shower will do me much good, I think.

With taste:
-Good dark chocolate and letting it melt in the mouth.  Mmmm...
-Tangy fresh limeade.
-The complex taste of my grandmother's old English cranberry pudding with hard sauce... not for the unsophisticated tastebuds!

This list isn't complete.  More than anything, I want to savor my life, not simply live it.  There are too many joys that I miss out on because I'm rushed, or simply not paying attention.  I'm resolving to be more attentive and love myself enough to slow down, feel things more often, and live.

BlogRow_9126.jpg



Comments
elizabeth says:

Amen! I love your insight. perfect reading for a monday morning. (and we happily share a love for James Taylor and Biolage :))

(02.08.10 @ 09:00 AM)
crystalyn says:

love this rachel! it's one of the hardest things for me to learn in life. i look back fondly on other times in my life like college, or pre kids or anything really. and yet, i know during those times it was so easy to get stressed out or caught in the thick of thin things without looking at the big picture. it really is a gift to be able to savor the GOOD that is around us even in the midst of what's challenging about the time or phase we're in. because the truth is, both will be there...always.

love your thoughts as always. xo.

(02.08.10 @ 10:42 AM)
Becky says:

Every post I read, I realize more of what a great daughter of God, WIfe, and Mother you are! Keep breathing it in!

(02.08.10 @ 11:09 AM)
Jen says:

Thank you for the reminder dear friend. I think I need to pause to smell the roses. Life really is so beautiful when I just take time to SEE (and hear and smell and touch and taste) it!

(02.08.10 @ 08:38 PM)
Jessica says:

Just talking to Jen about all of this...sigh....

(02.08.10 @ 08:47 PM)
kimberly donohue says:

I love this. Thanks for the reminder and the sweet message. XOXO

(02.09.10 @ 01:15 AM)
Johanna says:

Such a great message and a beautiful wish. It makes great sense, so why then do we always forget and need to be reminded to do it?

(02.17.10 @ 05:01 PM)