The older I get, the more I understand how important it is to be present in my life.
Being present in one’s life is not just quickly checking things off a list, while you’re thinking about the next thing you can check off. If you are being present, you need to take the time to savor the experience, whatever it is.
I was at the park with the girls not too long ago, and there were lots of moms there with their kids. Sort of. I mean, they were THERE, but not there with their kids. They were on their cell phones, chatting away, or texting – anyplace but with their kids. And there was a dad or two. Staring off in the distance, oblivious to their surroundings. Who knows if they were thinking about work, or the hole in the fence they needed to have repaired…but they weren’t there, enjoying the moment with their children.
The kids probably didn’t care. They were having a blast, going up and down the slides, running around, swinging high. They would remember having a great time. And mom and dad checked off the box. They took their kid to the park like a good, involved parent. But they didn’t enjoy it. They didn’t hear the squeals of delight,or see the smiling faces. They EXPERIENCED nothing. And it was their loss. A chance to be present. A chance to make a memory that would never be forgotten. If only they had been present.
And it made me wonder how many times in life I do that. How often am I wishing I was anywhere but where I am, doing something other than what I’m doing? Now this week is a little different, as I’ve been COMPLETELY away from my computer, and that’s not cool.
But on a normal day to day basis, I hope I’m not doing it often. I hope that when I’m with my family, I’m WITH them.
I think I am. Lord knows I take enough pictures when we’re out and about, trying to document what we saw and what we did. Capturing the looks of wonder and delight. That means I’m paying attention, doesn’t it?