Practice Being Present

by Mary Ann on August 7, 2010

I want to tell you how my day went Thursday. Actually let me begin the story on Wednesday evening. I took out a pad and wrote down my schedule for Thursday. It was full. I had a couple of doctor’s appointments and a meeting with a friend, my regular work, an article to write and post and a few other sundry items. About fifteen minutes after I finished the list one of my daughters called. She had a presentation to do Thursday night and said, “Mom I hate to bother you but I really need some help. I just need a couple of hours to finish this presentation and I just can’t get anything done with the kids.” YIKES!!! I really wanted to help but I had a FULL day coming up. So I did what any good mother would, I rearranged my schedule!

Jodie, Maggie, Mary and Jack

Now don’t inundate me with letters about how we need our own space and how we have to take care of ourselves and on and on. My daughter had asked for help which she really needed and which she doesn’t ask for often. I wanted to help her. I know what it feels like to be over the top and not see how you can do all you have to do. So I rearranged my schedule. I cancelled one doctor’s appointment, set the other for earlier in the day and changed my appointment with the friend. The article could wait till later that night.

Thursday morning I rushed off to work with the days plan in my head. I called my daughter and told her I would be there by about 2:30 because my doctor appointment was earlier. I could hear the relief in her voice.

Work went fine. Then off to the doctor which is a forty five minute drive. They drew my blood and then I sat there…right up to the time of my previously scheduled appointment at 2:30. Double yikes. By the time I got to my

Jack and his baby

daughters home it was four fifteen and I was feeling rushed and stressed. I grabbed the kids, plopped them in the stroller, gave Jack his “baby to push” and off we went. I could at least give her an hour and a half.

Because Jodie needed to take the baby with her to her presentation we just walked around their block over and over again so that she could find us when she needed to go! Shortly after that her husband would be home and I could get on with the day. My mind was so busy. I kept thinking about the article I needed to write and post knowing that it was going to take a few hours. I was thinking about the other assignments I had before I could end the day. I kept saying to Jack, “Come on Jack. Let’s go”. I wanted him to keep up with my busy mind even though I knew in the back of it that I wouldn’t be getting to any of those other things until the hour and a half had passed. It was as though if we just moved a bit faster the time would go faster and I could get to all the “other stuff” I had to do.

Gee, hasn’t that been the subject of many an article by me? I surely wasn’t present. I wasn’t hearing Jack or seeing Maggie or having any conversations of any kind. So I STOPPED! I pulled my mind back from its preoccupation and its business. I slowed down. I said to Jack, “Hey, you are the leader.” Then we followed him. We went up driveways, went forward and then turned back, we explored the alley. Sometimes we would just stop and stand there waiting. Once I said, “Jack, what are we waiting for?” “Cars”, was his reply.

He stopped by a beautiful flowering plant with magenta blooms. He bent down and sniffed it. I turned around to look at Mary and Maggie and then back to Jack. He was catching up to me carrying a blossom in his small fist. “For Maggie”, he said. I was touched by the fact that at two he knew that his sister couldn’t smell the flower without his help.

We had a wonderful, long, meandering walk. We saw bugs, ants, flowers, birds, grapes about to be ripe, and leaves, lots of leaves! It was restful, peaceful. Jack and Maggie heard the names of flowers from their grandma. Some of them they will remember. It was a glorious time.

It takes effort to “be present”. It is work for adults who are so busy and preoccupied with the world and its worries, pressures and must dos. However, the rewards for both children and adults when we make the effort, is joy, peace, warmth and strengthened relationships.

Tomorrow pick a time or event in your family and practice being present. It’s like riding a bike, the more we practice the better we get.

Possibly Related Posts:

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

karen August 7, 2010 at 10:55 am

That was a pleasant reminder that we have to take time away from what we have to do during the day, and what is really important to do. Sometimes taking the time to just relax and enjoy the people that are precious to us is more important than the deadlines and appointments. The deadlines will always be there and the people may not. You probably had a clearer head and was more able to do the article after all that was done. Thanks for the reminder.

Mary Ann, your babies are so beautiful. Tell your daughter that for me. They are getting so grown up.


Dawn January 20, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Mary Ann,
This blog reminds me of my shopping trip yesterday for clothes for my 10 year old. Alongside me, I also had my 7 and 5 year old helping. I began to notice my program of rushing, rushing, let’s get this done quickly and efficiently mentality at the expense of the relationships with my sons. Praise God, I composed myself, remebering my current study with you on being present. I took a deep breath! I then began to enjoy picking out clothes and noticing my childrens needs. When I am present, we are all happier, more organized and BLESSED. As I read this blog, I questioned myself with “How will I arrive and be with my kids and husband today if I rush around, will I be any good to any of us?” ” If I move faster, will I do the job better?” Thanks for all you are giving and as I have heard before “Being present is a “GIFT”! God Bless, Dawn


Mary Ann January 23, 2011 at 1:35 am

Shopping, ah, that does test ones ability to be present. I remember : ) However, you are correct. anytime we can just be present things go so much better.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: