Mind Over Matter

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By Adina Morris

I was asked to give introductory remarks at an event this morning on Mindfulness, however, I have laryngitis and a really lousy head cold. I had to cancel with late notice last night, so I typed up my remarks and sent them over to the coordinator to deliver on my behalf. 

I was hoping to attend the event as mindfulness is very much a focus of mine and I feel terribly having to have missed it. 

In my process of writing up my remarks I walked through an interesting exercise in mindfulness of my own. 

It is really easy to go through each day with a list of tasks and check them off as you complete them or reshuffle them as needed according to new priorities. But how often do we stop and look around at the room we are in, the home that we have made for ourselves, the family that we are raising and the impact we have in the work that we do, whether paid or as a volunteer?

This afternoon, as I went downstairs for lunch after resting a bit, (I have been told to rest, drink tea and not to speak, as it is pitiful to listen to and I really need my voice back for my clients tomorrow!) I stopped at the top of the staircase and looked. Not the regular look of how full the hamper is and did someone leave their garbage in the hallway to be brought down, but to really look and observe. 

My eyes wandered over the wallpaper, a pretty floral pattern although a bit dated, that came with the house when we moved in nearly 19 years ago. I observed the light fixture hanging from the ceiling. And then I noticed each of the kids’ bedrooms. How much has changed in 19 years. We moved in with one 9 month old cute little boy who hadn’t even begun to crawl yet. He occupied one room and the other two were guest rooms. There is still the poster, hanging in a frame now, that one of our friends had made for us welcoming our first born home. 

Now, the rooms are bursting at the seams all filled up and flowing over a bit. I looked at the change in their bedspreads and lay out of their rooms. I also noticed another change that filled me with a sweet sadness and a twinge of excitement for the future. With one son studying abroad in Israel for the year and another finishing high school in a dormitory school out of state, our house is slightly more empty. Still it is way fuller than that first year, yet less so than last year.

With three children still at home, it is not really quiet, it is just a different dynamic. I always say, take even one kid out of the mix and it completely changes the interactions and relationships in the home.

No, I am not bemoaning the fact that our children are moving on, that is what we hope for. We spend 18 years raising and modeling for them good behavior and the skillset to lead respectable, independent and meaningful lives creating a family and life of their own and contributing to the larger community in their own unique way.

What I was suddenly mindful was, the life we have created. How far we, meaning me and my husband, have come in creating said respectable, independent and meaningful lives creating a family and life of our own and contributing to the larger community in our own unique way.

And that is what took my breath away. 

We have created a life together. We have Thank G-d raised and continue to raise a family together and they are now starting to do some of the work for themselves. 

Wow. I am in awe. Am I just getting old? Maybe. But if so, I think it is a good thing. 

You know how you go somewhere and meet an old acquaintance you haven’t seen in ages and they comment on how much you have changed or your kids have grown? I think that we miss that sometimes. We are with ourselves 24/7, literally, and we see our kids every day. That is precisely why it is so easy to miss the changes, the development, the growth, both physically and emotionally and even spiritually.

So today, I was mindful. Today, I breathed in my own home at the top of our stairs. These stairs have seen much in 19 years with our family and still more to come. And now I notice the stairs, the wallpaper and the rooms that our lives occupy. And I think about all the memories that we have built and those yet to come. 

A bit nostalgic you might say. I am really a sentimental person.

Do you ever think back to your own childhood home? Do you remember the sounds, sights and smells? That is how those memories stick. 

Now as an adult, we have and continue to create those memories for our children. I wondered for a minute what those sounds, sights and smells might be for them. I hope it will be the sounds of laughter, the sight of love and the smells of great home cooked meals.

I am mindful. 

My hope and prayer is that I can be a little more mindful of the hopes and dreams for me and my family and the small yet very special and meaningful  everyday moments of our lives, taking in the sights, sounds and smells so that they too will be remembered fondly for many years to come giving encouragement and inspiration for the future. 

I am mindful, and I hope you will be too. #MINDFULNESS