While I was in the middle of cleaning up my bedroom during my son’s naptime, I was thinking about the many events that were coming up. A garage sale that weekend, a family vacation in a month, bills that were due soon… a thousand things occupied my mind. As I bent down to grab something off the floor, BANG!!! I hit the middle of my forehead pretty hard on the corner of my headboard! And strangely, it was like a wakeup call for me.
I was so busy thinking about things that hadn’t even happened yet that I wasn’t even watching where I was going! Sure, I’ll have a pretty decent bruise on my forehead, but I’m grateful for the reminder to stay in the present moment. I tend to get ahead of myself with worries and anxieties that I don’t even need to think about before they happen. Every now and then I need that “bump on the head” to remind me that staying in the present moment is important. I don’t want to be worrying so much about the future or the past that I walk right into something and bump my head, or worse, miss an opportunity to enjoy life or be there for my family.
The society we live in gives us so many chances to multitask or ignore certain parts of our lives. I know I have made the mistake of brushing off a family member, missing an opportunity to be a good listener), or even neglecting to take care of myself in order to keep going with the thousands of mundane tasks that I must do as a wife and mother. The phrase “you’re only young once” may sound cliché, but it’s a reminder that life is to be lived and experienced, not something that must be pushed through on the way to something else.
My husband and I have been struggling with underemployment for quite some time, so the bills always seem to be on our minds. We think about when we will buy a house, when a better job will come along, or when our son gets old enough to go to school. These are good things to look forward to, but we cannot allow them to take over every waking moment .
I realized this when while I was laying my son down to bed, I was doing something on my tablet as well. Thankfully, I paused for a moment to see him roll closer to me and place his hand on my chest as he smiled in his sleep. I will never get another chance to have that moment and I almost missed it. So while smartphones, tablets, computers, video games, and social media are wonderful tech tools, we need to remember that these are only tools and not a substitute for living our lives. It breaks my heart to see children or other family members trying to get someone’s attention when they are focused on a tech device. I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want my husband and my son to have to compete with an inanimate object or the worries in my mind for my attention. I want to learn how to be present to them so I can show them my love.
So, as painful as the bump on my head is, I am actually grateful I ran into my headboard. It gave me a chance to remember to focus on the here and now, not what could be or what I’m worrying about. I guess we all need a reminder sometimes!