Being still is hard work.
Little ninjette got pink eye over Memorial Day weekend and despite all the precautions I took, I ended up getting it too. It’s terrible. I hate wearing glasses, but because of the pinkeye, I had to take out my beloved contacts and put on the glasses. I was doing all sorts of eye drops and and then finally got my prescription for the eye ointment to kill off whatever was causing the infection.
With the ointment, you have to close your eyes and roll your eyeball around so that the ointment gets to all the places it needs to. The directions said to leave your eyes closed for 2-5 minutes. Well, in efforts to really nip this in the bud, I decided to keep my eyes closed for 5 minutes.
Let me tell you something – 5 minutes is a stinkin’ long long long time. So I set up a timer on my phone. I was tempted THREE times to see if my phone was still working because it felt like the alarm for the timer was not going off for such a long time! How could 5 measly minutes be so long?!
It got me thinking, though. Maybe the 5 minutes felt so long because I was simply doing one thing – closing my eyes and being still. My normal life routines consist of me doing at least two different things at the same time. You will see me watching tv and playing Candy Crush. I will be at an event and trying to live tweet it while the speakers are talking. I’m always trying to listen to npr while driving. I read or jot notes while I am riding the subway. I mean, my whole life is about multitasking. If I could cook dinner while taking a shower or sleep while getting things prepped for the next day, I would do it!
The funny thing is, I think I do this in my parenting and relationships, too. I end up trying to multitask parenting by giving my kid a bath while responding to emails and Facebook posts. I really should just focus on giving my kid a bath – sometimes I think she ends up just sitting in the bath water and playing and I forget to actually use soap. Sometimes, my husband and I will be watching a movie together and we are both on our phones or computers and we call this a date night. Terrible, right?
Instead of connecting and being present, I’m busy trying to be busy. It’s a bit disheartening since it feels like I am not really getting anything accomplished in the end of it and everything is a bit half-assed.
Maybe it’s time to put the phone and other electronics down and to focus. I want to throw 100% of myself in whatever I am doing at the moment and to really enjoy that moment. Maybe it will make me be a better parent? Better spouse? Better friend? Better everything?
I know New Year’s has already passed and it’s probably a little too late to be making resolutions, but I am really going to challenge myself this month. I am going to try my best to stop multitasking. I will still listen to the radio or to music, while I’m cooking, writing, driving, etc, but other than that, I am going to put the phone down. I’m going to turn off the t.v.. I’m going to pay attention. I’m going to practice being still.