INSIGHT OUT: The Gift of Being Present- Score!

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The Gift of Being Present- Score!

Have you ever had one of Those Sundays?

It’s the day that is super long, yet is the same 24 hours like every other day. We manage to jam pack it with every errand, activity and celebration possible.

We had one of Those days recently. It started with getting some kids to Mesivta in the morning and progressed with shopping for another kid, uniform fittings, piano lessons, play dates, softball game, BBQ.  And the list goes on.

The day moves quickly as we run from one thing to the next and hurry to check off items on our to do list. We must keep moving lest we miss an important activity, event or big sale on the latest item that one teen Must have. However, if we zip through the day, we may miss something much more important.

We were making our way through such a Sunday. We were winding down our day as we headed to our 9 year old’s softball game. Being good parents, we go to the games and cheer, although not too loudly and only at certain times (according to said 9 year old’s instructions). We want to show our encouragement, but not embarrass, a fine line to walk indeed. As our older child played, I had the privilege of entertaining our younger child. We did think ahead, BH, and brought a ball for him to play with. We noticed that the softball game was on a large field, as many games were being played simultaneously, and right next to the outfield where our older child was playing, there was a large official size soccer net unoccupied. Our five year old has become a bit obsessed with soccer of late and was ecstatic when I suggested we play soccer with his ball.

Now, please keep in mind that I am not 21 and he is nearly 6 and this net is official size! Our five year old really wanted us to use both nets, the other one being a football field away. Luckily I convinced him that it would be much more fun if we just played with the one net and took turns being the kicker and the goalie. We began to play. He had his own unique way of keeping score. (Read: only he scored and for some reason or another, almost every time my ball went into the net, my goal was disqualified;)

We laughed and played on a breezy afternoon for quite awhile, amidst a few breaks when we became tired out.. We had a few mishaps of entanglement with a pesky net and a slip on the grass, leading to a peal of laughter from both participants.

At one point, another mother came by and asked me in passing, “Who’s winning?” I responded that I hadn’t the foggiest idea, and wasn’t really keeping score. She then replied, “Well I can see that you are both winning, and especially your son, as he is making wonderful memories with his mother!”

I stopped for a moment, and then said, “Thank you!”

Yes, we zip through our day, we have so much to take care of and check off of our to do list.

But sometimes, the most important to do item does not make the list.

Making wonderful memories with our five year old was probably one of the top items that could have been on my list for That Sunday. And I almost missed it.

Being present seems so obvious, I am here after all! Yet when I don’t put the conscious effort into making myself be present, I can miss out on wonderful opportunities to create more meaning in my everyday. Now, you may say it’s not natural if we try so hard. But really, being present is the most natural thing one can do. Stop your mind from running to the next thing. Focus in on where you are right now and think of a way to make it enjoyable and meaningful for you and the people around you. The items on your list will continue to grow and be replaced with new things as you check each one off. But little everyday moments are not replayed. Each one is special and unique. You will not regret spending the effort to be present in the things you are already doing. I imagine that is why the old saying goes, The present is a gift not to be wasted.

It took another mother, objectively watching me play with my son to remind me of the beauty of the moment and how it will be long remembered well after we go home for the evening. I guess I did score a goal after all;)