Well, it’s officially Summer break. You’ve probably heard about my #bloglesslivemore challenge and so far… so good. (yeah, I know it’s only been 2 days lol). Yesterday in keeping with the challenge I went to book club in the morning, and then afterward Hanna and I went on a “hike” at the lake. She wanted to search for shells (and basically be outside ~ she’s pretty clever…I think she sets up outdoor activities around the house so I can quit early and just go inside lol).
It was a beautiful day, around 80, light breeze, overcast.
We walked up the beach. She picked up every shell she could find. Yelling “OH here’s another one.” every time she found one. I’ll be honest… after about 15 minutes I was done. My mind started to wander. I started to devise excuses to leave and go home. I started getting a little bit snippy.
I’m reading The Miracle of Mindfulness right now, and as I walked along the beach I remembered a section that related to what I was experiencing. It was a story of a Father who would become distracted and hope time would pass quickly when doing homework with his son so he can have “his time”. He considered homework time “his son’s time” and ended up feeling frustrated. However, the Father realized if he could be present and really enjoy the moment of helping his son with his homework that became his time as well. When he did this he ended up with “unlimited time”.
The book went on to talk about walking meditation. How when you go on a walking meditation by yourself it is easy. When you go with someone else it can be difficult… because that person wants to talk to you. 🙂 However, you can still stay mindful:
“If he wishes to talk, I will answer, but I will continue in mindfulness aware of the fact that we are walking along the path together, aware of what we say, I can continue to watch my breath as well.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
And so this is what I did.
I began counting my breath, walking slowly, mindful of my steps. I began to appreciate the joy in my daughter’s voice as it rang out that she’d found another shell. I sank into the moment and was truly there.
An hour or so later we were still walking around the lake. The only thing that made me head to the car was the dark clouds rolling in overhead.
We came home and began the task of cleaning all the shells. This too provided an opportunity to be in the moment and see time spent with her as “my time”.
Day two of Summer break ended with a torrential downpour and celebration… for the rain, and a lovely day spent together. I am starting to realize many of our end of day melt downs are a direct result of “her time” vs. “my time”, and feeling frustrated to not have enough of my own time. Now I realize with a simple tweak of perspective I can have unlimited my time. 🙂