For me, a major challenge as an employed human with kids, is being present. My colleague and friend, Kristen Benton, speaks to this issue eloquently and with great passion; her advice always strikes a chord with me.
I believe that I am blessed. I work within and for an industry that is positive and uplifting. I have a family that I adore beyond written words ability. I am in love with my husband…still. I am in a marriage that makes me feel valued, loved, strong, and beautiful. We have a cozy home, a yard I enjoy nurturing, and a dog who finally, after four years, is impressively smart. Our children are turning out fairly well, I’m quite proud of them, actually. I’ve been complimented on my children on more than one occasion and it fills me with joy. But let’s call a spade a spade here, while they are great, they are also kids and raising kids is hard work which requires an insane amount of patience.
In all of the above mentioned blessed areas of my life, though, often I feel inadequate. I feel as though I am giving some of myself, not all, to each area. I feel as though I could be more focused at work, sometimes the peanut butter and jelly won’t make itself. When I’m with my family, my mind often wanders to work and, because I work from home, so does my body. I have seven to do lists and along with each of those comes its own calendar; my mind relies heavily on technology for organization. I am a nut about to-do lists. A nut. My darlings often frustrate and annoy me. The screaming, the not listening, the sticky stuff all over everything – what is that? Why are they and everything so sticky? The house. Don’t even get me started about the house. That to-do list is always up for revision.
I share these pieces of me with you because, while I feel happy and genuinely love my life, I’m often stressed. I think that most working parents feel this nagging, and often overwhelming, pressure of the blessings in our lives that we have, for the most part, chosen and created for ourselves. While we can acknowledge how valuable these things are in our lives – the stress creeps in and can often lead us to feelings of inadequacy.
To combat my own feelings of inadequacy, I’m working on a new rule to improve my connectedness with the world, people, and commitments I’ve made in my life. My new rule is this: BE PRESENT.
My darling ten-year old daughter made me a bracelet to help me with this rule. I’ve had various goals over the course of my adult life, many health related. The art of being present is the key to reaching all of those other goals. It is the rule that makes it all work – pulls the puzzle together.
If we each looked at all of the aspects of our lives – individually – really looked at everything on our plates, identified each of the most important aspects, whittled out the less important areas and came to a place where in each of those key areas we were 100% present, how much more productive, less stressed, and happier would we be? Would the end of feeling inadequate be within our grasp and possibly lead to further success an additional blessings?
It is simply stated, but certainly far from simple. Being present requires we focus entirely on the present moment, delve into exactly where we are right here, and right now. Are you ready to implement the rule in your life? Join me. Be present.