It’s been a while since I last wrote a mindfulness post, and I’m realizing that I’m having a hard time writing it now. Why? Because I haven’t been very mindful lately. I’ve been caught up with work, the million house projects we have going on (do they ever end?), trying to make time for my friends, family & Leo. Summer felt like a whirlwind…I haven’t had a moment to just take it all in. Not because I didn’t have the time, because I didn’t MAKE the time.
On Saturday afternoon, I went to my mom’s for a bit to hang. I haven’t spent a lot of time at home in the last couple of months, and I was really starting to miss it. I think what I miss the most is the simplicity of life back when I lived there. When I was a teen, all I wanted to do was grow up and get out of that place. Now that I’m older, I wish I had embraced that period of life for what it was and enjoyed it a little more. And I thought about how 10 years from now, I’ll likely be saying the same thing. How do I prevent this from happening? We’re all guilty of constantly thinking ahead – “when I do xyz, things will be better”, “I can relax once I accomplished abc” – that we don’t take time to soak in the present.
My mom was big on crafts when we were kids. She used to sew our clothes, knit our scarves, make me little hair accessories. She would take my brother and I to this fabric store in Evanston to get her supplies – we ended up going there on Saturday to pick up buttons for this vintage jacket I asked her to fix. Just the smell of that place brought back so many memories. It was nostalgic to be back in there with Mom, doing something we used to do together so many years ago. It was the first time in a long time that I was fully present in the moment, looking at button after button, trying to find the perfect fit.
This month, my goal is to be more conscious of where my mind is going. Just calling myself out on going through my to-do list when I’m having dinner with family, being more aware of how often I’m checking my phone. These are achievable enough, right?
Here are a few reads that inspired me this month – hopefully, you learn something new too!
- The first step of fixing a behavior is being aware it exists. This article in Time said it perfectly – when it comes to keeping your mind from drifting into future mode, “it can be a little disturbing. You may have thoughts like ‘Wow, here I am with my loved ones and I can’t focus on them at all'”. (time.com)
- Most of us are not the best listeners, even if we think we are. How often are you listening to actually understand? Or are you just focusing on your response while the other person is talking? (inc.com)
- Loved this read on how maybe happiness isn’t what we should be striving for, as many of life’s challenges don’t bring happiness, but are still fulfilling and worthwhile. “The Ancient Greeks resolutely did not believe that the purpose of life was to be happy; they proposed that it was to achieve Eudaimonia, a word which has been best translated as ‘fulfilment’.” (thebookoflife.org)
- Sometimes you feel like everything is falling apart, and that you can’t do anything about it. Here’s a list of 75 things you CAN control. (blogs.psychcentral.com)
- Instead of buying more stuff, spend your money to buy time (think cleaning services, grocery pick-up, lawn/garden care). This interesting study from NPR found that investing to buy time makes us all happier in the end. I JUST invested in a house cleaning service this weekend for the first time – it really did make me happy inside. I saved 6 hours of my Saturday and did things I wanted to do instead (because cleaning is never one of them). (nrp.org)