The substance of our lives are comprised of ordinary moments. We are creatures of routine, immersing ourselves into our own daily merry-go-round. Each day is much like the one that passed. What will we remember? Will it be the moments that we discounted as too ordinary as we were living them?
I am asking these particular questions because this past month I’ve been consumed by all of my moments that aren’t happening. My novel isn’t working. Some days I don’t have enough discipline to get it to work. When my writing doesn’t work, I entertain thoughts on reentering the legal profession. That leads to thoughts about taking another bar exam and how I am so not prepared to “study” after being out of school for almost ten years. I begin questioning my purpose outside of my roles as wife and mother.
When my daughter has a cataclysmic meltdown in the middle of Target, I then wonder how much of this mothering thing I am doing right. Are my husband and I raising the best child? In those unexpected moments, when I am washing her face, trying to get her to bed, she pauses and looks up at me, and says “Can you buy me a brother or sister? ” My heart falls a little, pondering if the choices I make as a woman and mother are the right ones for my daughter.
I play tug of war with what is and what isn’t everyday. I lose focus and reflect. I stop. I know that we all have these battles with trying to live in the present, questioning what isn’t, actively anticipating what may come.
As I ponder these thoughts, my daughter, comes around the corner and says, “I love you Momma. You are my favorite person.” I smile, give her a kiss on her cheek and tell her with emphasis, that I love her too. It’s not as if all my questions have disappeared, but for now, I focus on an ordinary moment, precisely aware that this moment is what I will remember.
And you know what? I will take it. Because it is exactly what I need right now. And for that I am grateful.
Do you focus on what isn’t happening? Are you consciously aware of what ordinary moments you will remember? What are you grateful for today?
Image by Radhika Bhatt
I am grateful for the balance I have right now in my life. Soon school will be starting (I teach) and things will get a lot busier. But as I look back on my summer I feel so happy that I started a blog, organized and cleaned my house, and had some wonderful moments with the kids, especially on our trip to California.
Yes, I do focus on what isn’t happening, and this is a good reminder to be here now!
Wow rudri you hit the nail on the head. I told my husband where I wanted us to “be” in another year and it was full of things that “aren’t” right now. My daughter forces me to be in the present and for that i am grateful.
I struggle so hard with this…the idea of being more “present” in day-to-day things. It’s an admirable goal, but so much of my day is spent on really unsatisfying stuff, you know?
Sounds like you are doing a darn fine job, if your daughter says that to you.
This is beautiful. It is the ordinary moments, in their more subtle sparkling, that make life extraordinary.
I have a hard time breathing when I start worrying about what is or isn’t. Instead, I just have to take it moment by moment, day by day, and hope that by doing the next, right thing, I’ll get to wherever it is I need to be. Grateful is the word.
Taking the day for what is is always a work in progress. It’s hard not to think of what could be, what should be, what would be, only if. It’s only when we realize what we truly have, are we able to move forward.
Also, that’s such a great picture.
These are the moments I live for these days. There is magic in the ordinary – I don’t want to lose it in trying to chase the extraordinary.
I love, love, love this picture Rudri. Perfectly sums up this post. And the happiness, love and adoration here shine through brilliantly.
Awesome Picture of the two of you, Ru. Lovely post about the doubts and insecurities of being a mother, and a woman, and a parent, and well… all the things we are. All the different hats we wear, by choice and by not. I have to say it gets pretty overwhelming for me, especially when I think of what’s NOT happening.
I like reading your thoughts. I would say keep them coming, but I’m pretty sure you will 🙂
Beautiful picture and an important reminder to live in the moment.
This used to be more of a struggle with me. But I’m finding, as I get older, I’m better able to live more in the moment. I say “more” because I’m still not where I want to be with my parenting and the magic of each moment. But I’m improving a little bit, day by day. And that’s all we can hope for.
Beautiful picture and post. These ordinary moments sustain us.
It is exactly those moments that put everything back into perspective and serve at the same time as a reminder of all we have to be so very grateful for. I still struggle at times, still rush through things forgetting how precious these moments with my daughter really are. But I have got a lot better at reminding myself.
Those days are rough for me too, when my writing doesn’t work. Because when it DOES work? It’s fulfilling all over the place. I feel like I could do anything because I’ve got so much freedom at my fingertips. It’s like an untreated case of bipolar writing disorder.
Breathe. If your novel is half as good as your posts, and even a quarter as good as who you are as a mother, it will be amazing.
Lovely post. I think we all make choices throughout our years of parenting; some choices are made for us. We accommodate constantly shifting roles, and those of us to whom career is important – whatever that means – or perhaps I should say personal dreams of pursuit and accomplishment – the juggle is always difficult.
We never really know if what we’re doing is “right” at a given moment. But I do agree that we have moments when we feel the breadth of what it is to be a parent, to love and be loved back in that capacity. It’s huge.
Today, I will be grateful when I know that my son has arrived safely at his destination. I’m grateful for the young man he has become, for the echo of laughter around the table the other night, as he and his brother teased each other, and me. Ordinary moments that leave an impression rather than a distinct outline. I think these are the moments I love the most.
It sounds like you are doing a great job. Just being aware of the fact that we sometimes (a lot of times) spend our energy on the wrong type of moments is half the battle.
I’m an ex-lawyer, too, BTW, and it’s been 13 years since I practiced. The idea of taking a bar exam again is enough to always make me appreciate being a mom 🙂
I swear, we are constantly focusing on what isn’t happening, and then vowing to stop and not managing to. We worry about what school he’ll go to, and when he’ll get a sibling, and when we’ll have a yard, and what jobs might be out there in the future, and when our car might go kaput. But I’m grateful, all the same, for all of those things – the house, the education, the family, our woods, our careers, our 14-year-old car, still kicking. And around and around we go.
My goodness how I know this, how so many of us in this community know this. Is there solace in knowing others understand, absolutely? Does it make it easier, not always. But life is that, a revolvoing door of emotions, and change and wonder and simplicity. All of it marks us in different ways depending on the day. I’m so glad she gave you that gift, for their love is truly a gift isn’t it? It makes everything else so much easier to endure.
Good luck with all of your decisions. May you find peace and happiness in whatever you decide. We’ll be here to cheer you on!
Today I’m grateful for my daughter wrapping herself around my leg and saying she wanted to snuggle as we were walking into a restaurant for lunch. I was carrying the gigantic car seat with the baby in it, and it took us twice as long to get to the restaurant door, but these words from my little girl, who does not physically show her affection easily, made me so grateful. Grateful that today, maybe, I am doing something right.
PS: Sending you good-writing and being-in-the-moment vibes! All of us mom-writers need those now and again, that is for sure!
There is so much that I am grateful for like my health, the love and patience my husband gives me, the friends and family surrounding me, and the encouragement I reap from bloggers like you who manage to bring flowers in the middle of winter. :o) Great job!
The trick is finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, and sometimes that’s very, very difficult. Your daughter is beautiful – I love that picture!
Beautiful. I finally got a chance to read your post after a long time. I love the picture.
I’m grateful for this past year . . . it’s been year #5 of my marriage, and we just moved from the East Coast to Chicago–I was expecting it to be a challenging year, but it’s been almost too easy. Instead of second guessing that and frantically thinking “knock on wood! knock on wood!” I’ve determined to enjoy it and be thankful. Why should I let the unknown future marr the present? Even though I know there will be difficulties and decision ahead (like having children, seeing our parents age, etc.) I should just let today be today.
Ok. Loved this post. And I read it just after I was lamenting over (and blogging about) my struggles with my teenage daughter. A post where I ended up focusing on the great things about her, instead. Such a beautiful reminder here. I needed to read your thoughts, too – if only to help me feel like I’m on the right track.
I realize I am late but I wanted you to know how much I appreciated this post. I can’t quite organize my thoughts right now, sorry, but this post really captivated me.
Beautiful post. I think you are focused on exactly what is important at this moment. I love the picture.
I don’t know why it is that I forget to look to my children when nothing else seems to be working. They always always center me. But it almost always is because they’ve been the ones to peek around the corner. Beautiful post. And, I hope you’re feeling more centered lately!