Today I forced an interruption. It's necessary to do so every once in awhile, and this day, being one of the last warm days for some time to come, seemed the perfect time to do it.
I took a bike ride down to the beach.
At this point, if you have even read this far, you may be thinking, "Who the #$&>@ cares about that?"
You're right. Who cares? Me. And that's the whole point. I'm pretty sure that I'm not alone in that there are not too many things I don't do for just me. It's a problem not limited to moms, either. So much of our life is, as Wordsworth so sagely puts it, "getting and spending," that we don't spend too much time on the now. And the now is really the only thing we truly have.
To be clear, I'm not talking about that "me-time," a derogatory term used to denote selfishness, and usually leveled at women(those with and without children, I might add). Instead, I'm talking about time that is simply spent without aim for future gain, without creating pleasure for someone else, without furthering the illusion that our time is endless. If I had to classify it, I'd think of it as "now."
I squander my now all the time, and to be truthful, I actually don't mind all the daily things I do. I live a life that's home-centered, and that means daily effort on mundane tasks. From laundry to dishes to cooking to picking up stuff, it's time consuming. And if I feel chained to it, it's sometimes irritating, too.
But when I'm present in these tasks, with attention, I notice how nice it is to be able to do these things and have the home, and be with the people in it, making my own days. It's a real luxury. And I realize my "tasks" aren't tasks at all. They are just part of being.
The problem is that I often forget that. I get lost in the repetition, and I need to force an interruption. Despite the poets' exhortations, despite the advice of a dying friend, it is so difficult to be present and enjoy being here. A forced interruption can recharge me and make it possible to regain my "now." For awhile.
This morning I did it. I tugged myself away from the pull of folding towels, mending teddy bears, stacking dishes, and chopping vegetables to do something entirely for me, entirely in the present.
Today's now included feeling the warm air whistle past my ears, pedaling up hills until I was out of breath, walking on the beach at low tide, listening to the fog horn as the last of the morning mist burned off past the bridge, watching the variegated trees whip past my bike, and finding a ridged clamshell.
What is your now today?
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