“Lord, keep me in the moment. Help me live with my eyes wide open. `Cause I don't wanna miss what you have for me. ~ Jeremy Camp
I must confess though I am embarrassed to admit it, I enjoy watching shows on the TLC network. There I said it. Please don’t judge me! The reason I feel a bit uncomfortable admitting it is because as the years have gone by the shows seem to have become more and more bizarre. For anyone that watches them, do you agree? For whatever reason though, I still get a kick out of watching shows like Extreme Sisters, 90 Day Fiancé and sMothered purely for the entertainment value.
One new show called Extreme Time Cheaters however, I just can’t seem to figure out. The premise of the show is to feature people who will do anything to save time by rigid scheduling and abnormal multitasking. One man was on a date and felt that his meal took too long to get to the table so he asked for it to be blended for him which would not be so odd except for the fact that he ordered a salad and pasta. His rationale was if he drank his meal, he would be much more efficient with his time and save priceless minutes. Another woman planned a birthday party for her husband where she had every activity scheduled down to the minute and would make her guests feel like children who had to move onto the next activity long before they were ready simply because she had zero flexibility and needed to stick to the unrealistic schedule. I thought… What is the point here? So, you are on a date or hosting a birthday party but where is the actual enjoyment in any of it? It was merely going through the motions but not appreciating anything along the way. I NEVER want to get like that!
When I was a young mom of a baby and toddler, I wrote a poem which was published called “Someday.” In this honest poem I talked of all the things that annoyed me at this stage like wishing I could: get a solid night’s sleep, shower without an audience, and watch Oprah instead of Barney. I realized too that there was so much I would also miss about that stage as well though like: infectious baby giggles, seeing the world through a child’s eyes and bedtime prayers for Goliath and the Teletubbies. I never wanted to wish the stage away as hard as it might have been at the time. Everyone tells you to appreciate it all and now that I am a mom, I know it is so true. Kids grow up way too fast! I feel like I blinked, and it was over. My son Tyler is now 25 and my daughter Shannon is 23. I was visiting with my great friend Alyshia recently. I thoroughly enjoy her company and was delighted to spend time with her adorable son Elijah as well. We read some books together and it brought back memories of when it was “Tyler Boy” and I doing that not so long ago. Alyshia is expecting another precious baby any day now and I could tell how she is savouring and appreciating all these special moments with Elijah. She is a wonderful mom and can already see how fast the time goes with little ones.
Life can be hard sometimes, and we wish that our circumstances would change overnight. During the tough times I have prayed that God would step in and change my circumstances time and time again, but that is not guaranteed. I have felt like I was in the waiting room and wondering like Rapunzel from the movie Tangled, when will my life begin?
Many of us struggle to "stay in the moment" because we don’t like where we are right now. Many of us are facing big struggles, challenges and heartaches. We become overwhelmed and weary of it all. We also become tired of among other things: Covid 19, masks, social distancing, and hearing about the latest variant trends. We wonder how we will be effected and when we will ever see a normal life again? If we have an attitude of what can be learned from our current circumstances whatever they may be, we can usually see that there have been positives that have come from this time. When you stay in the moment with your heart open, you can see them. Here are some great things I may have missed if I had not learned to stay in the moment.
If anything, positive has come of this challenging time it is the opportunity it has given us to spend more time with our families. Life slowed down and we were literally only allowed to spend time with people under our own roof. It was wonderful to pull out the board games, go for walks, order in some take out and have movies marathons knowing that is exactly what we were being asked to do at that time. It was comforting and many special memories were made during this unique time.
Appreciating the Little Things
Never will I take for granted the chance to have coffee with a friend, give someone a hug, eat at a restaurant, or teach in my classroom. These are all little things, but they took on such special significance when I was not allowed to do them. So happy we are getting back to these simple pleasures.
This year I learned many virtual platforms and programs. I had to as I became an online teacher overnight. I learned more than I ever thought possible in terms of tech skills and how to translate and teach lessons virtually. Much of this wonderful learning can be used in the face-to-face classroom as well and I am excited to incorporate it.
Leaving Your Comfort Zone Has Benefits
I read a quote by John Assaraf that said “a comfort zone is a wonderful place, but nothing ever grows there.” 2020 and 2021 have taken all of us way out of our comfort zones. We had to follow rules that seemed extreme, adapt daily to various changes yet in many ways continue to act like it was “business as usual” when it was clearly not. We had families to take care of, bills to pay and jobs to perform. Rather than look back on this time with disdain though, why not reflect on all that we learned in those moments? This is what I am certainly trying to do.
Someday this time will be a memory. Someday your situations will change. If we choose to stay in the moment and look for the good, we will see things differently. We will look back and share stories about what happened during the pandemic, and our difficult times and feel pride on how we handled very challenging circumstances and came out on the other side better and stronger people. There truly is something positive to learn in every situation. Sometimes you just must look a little harder to see it.
Until next time,
Psalms 118:24: This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.
Little Lesson Learned: Those with open hearts see things that others miss.
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