Today I woke up and did what any newly unemployed mama might do on her first official day of her non (paid) work life: I made a list of 100 things I could do, if I found myself bored, around the house. Milk paint the end tables. Sweep the floor. Scrub clean the bathroom tiles. Prepare for Julia Child’s dinner party. Put away Christmas decorations (after Epiphany). I then, of course, opened up my inbox, which to no great surprise, didn’t hold a whole lot of emails – I’m not a director anymore. I’m not rallying the troops. I’m not responsible for raising the budget.
What a relief.
And so I sat there, with the little man to my side, just being. Me, practicing the presence of that moment of perfection, in quietness, in smiles, in peace. I breathed in his baby shampoo and kissed his forehead, his cheeks, his nose, no hold’s back. I turned him towards me and smiled – and watched as his eyes recognized my own upward turned mouth and crinkly, sparkling eyes, and mirrored back a smile that could slay the masses. And there we sat on our spit-up stained couch – #74 clean couch stains – taking in the moment, patting the puppy, as Annie Dillard would say, just being.
I want to live like that. This year I want to stop and breathe and learn how to be, instead of learning how to simply survive. I want to notice the everyday, I want to practice living a contemplative life, as I learn how to respond instead of just merely react. I want to be with God, in prayer and in my attitude, and I want to be fully engaged with those around me, not worrying about what’s next on my list of things to do.
Simply put, I want to learn how to be.
What’s your word of the year for 2013?0