One time a few months ago I hit a major feat while parenting.
I was holding a child on my hip, stirring the macaroni, and I helped my older child up to sit on the counter to watch me. All at the same time.
Double tasking is something that I think comes naturally to most people. But this triple tasking was a first for me, and it hasn't happened since. Where was my standing ovation? Or the "Woop! Woop!", fist pumping, and the applause?
Oh right, I was alone at home in my kitchen. But don't you think for a second that I didn't imagine it. My imaginary friends were shocked and probably threw a party for me that night.
I've been thinking for a while on overstimulation. On my need to be doing more than one thing at once. On my addiction to being distracted.
About two years ago I was with a group of ladies and one of them mentioned that it is important to live in the moment. Yes, obviously we are supposed to be aware and planning for the future, but I think what she meant was that we shouldn't forget where we are right now. She said that she had been discovering it during her yoga sessions, how she would be there and simply focus on the positions she was reaching for. Focusing on her time right then. That struck me. I almost never focus on what I am doing. Especially if I happened to be sitting in on a yoga class, oh the places my thoughts would be. I am always trying to think of something else! Like when I am washing the dishes, or shoveling the dirt, or folding the laundry, please let my mind wander! But here's the thing: Mind wandering can be a good thing, as long as it is productive thinking. That's how things get invented. That's how things get planned. But when I am grasping for meaningless thoughts and dreams just so I can pass the time... that's when it becomes a waste.
It's gotten so bad, it has slipped into other areas of my life. Simply cleaning up dinner can't be done in silence anymore. As soon as my husband leaves in the morning Pandora is on in the dining room. I watched Downton Abbey while ironing and editing photos. Silence has gotten just so boring!
And the food!
Do you know how much easier it is to clean the house while sucking on a piece of chocolate? I am constantly nibbling on something.
The noise, the wandering thoughts, the need for taste and distraction.
Oh, it makes me slightly disappointed...
I read the book Star Girl with my reading group last year. I have to admit that I didn't really enjoy the book, but I concede that it did have a lasting effect on me. While Star girl did bug me, I was impressed with her vigor for life. I mean, she meditated! She cared about everything she was doing and everyone she interacted with. I think that when someone really starts focusing on what they have at present and how they can better it and really care, then they start living with passion. I don't want to wake up in five years and find that I have tuned out my children or my family because I was constantly looking for 'more'.
I don't really know why I am writing this out, it's just something I've been thinking about. I hope that I start holding back when I feel the need to overstimulate my mind. I hope that when my imagination does begin to wander, that it is constructive and inventive. I hope that I start noticing more how my children play together on the floor in the other room. I hope that I can learn to appreciate quiet :)