While we were away, I found my days so much more calm and peaceful, even though we were staying in a smaller space and we still had just as much noise and constant talking surrounding us. When we came home, I found myself short of breath going from here to there, around the corner, up the stairs, and back down again… feeling rushed; quite the opposite of those calm moments away.  In the smaller living space, there was no up and down or around the corner. I am not necessarily thinking about the small space itself, (although it does play a part) or what size home is good for a family of seven, but about how I can make my minutes and hours in my day work best for me.

This generation I am a part of tends to always be looking ahead to the next thing.  I am super guilty of this. Rather than enjoy what this day, moment, and minute holds, I find myself thinking once I get this load of laundry in, have Zoe fold the clothes in the dryer, go upstairs and correct that math page, prep dinner, and get Ottie a snack, then I can sit and maybe read for that fifteen minutes I was trying to get to today. Ha! Just writing that down makes me laugh because that is so very true to what I do ALL DAY LONG! How do I calm the constant self-talking and my going from one thing to the next and the next and the next and just enjoy the right now? What can I appreciate with each small little task?

I don’t really have an answer. I am processing all of these things after coming back, and finding myself out of breath. I do know that slowing down is big for me, and being present with who and what is before me. With technology and social media always screaming for our attention, sadly there are times when my kids are being left out and ignored. It also is weakening my ability to multi-task and focus because when I do go onto these social outlets, my mind gets jumbled looking at photo after photo, having a thought oh, this reminds me I need to look up that book and see what it’s about, (next photo) wow! look how cute that hat is, where is that from? I should get one for Ottie…  and then I completely forget the first thought before continuing to scroll to the next photo or status. My brain doesn’t have the capability to take in all that information at once, and therefore choosing to look at social media is becoming a hindrance in my day to day activities as well as my thinking. (The irony with social media is that I often use it as an outlet to post what I’m sharing on this space.  It can be a great platform as well. Like all things in life, I just need to use it in balance.)

Working on simplifying our space and clearing the things that physically “scream” at me in our home is another way I’m beginning to see some change in the things that pull at me. It is a slow process, but one that is helping immensely.  I will be sure to share more about that soon too.

What works for you in focusing on the here and now? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!




4 Responses to right here, right now.

  1. Dede Goddard says:

    Anna, I am working on the exact same thing and I am 67 years old! The brain never stops! What I am trying is recognizing/acknowledging the “ADD brain (as I call it…my kids know it well!)” and then letting it go. Easier said than done! New mantra (along with “change is good”) is “be here now!” Take more slow deep breaths…etc, etc! Let me know if you find the “cure!” Love, love, love Tia
    P.S. Can’t wait to see you all soon!

  2. Emily A. Bennetch says:

    Dearest Anna, How I love your heart and your honesty in verbalizing what we ALL struggle with. Reading Ann Voskamp’s 1,000 Gifts gave me a beautiful picture and tangible implementation of writing down moments of gratefulness. Sights and sounds and smells, and exchanges, and angles of light, and….anything that gives us a breath of gratitude. It holds you accountable to being present by having to challenge yourself to simply notice. To DO less, and observe and take in more. Breath deeply the moments that make up our days. It’s all in HIS time…so I want to be a good steward with the Time He has given me….and I am 100% there with you in struggling with distractions and thoughts bombarding my head. I love YOU!
    P.S. That was some of the best spiritual advice I received from Andy years ago….”Emily, why don’t you try to just DO less…” (in terms of box checking and actually TRYING to achieve things on my own).

    • Anna Swanson says:

      Oh, Em! I miss you terribly. Thank you for sharing! I am currently working my way through her book, it’s a slower read for me, but also trying to live out all the goodness she shares. I do appreciate looking at all these special moments surrounding us, daily. It has been so good to slow myself down recently and leave all the other stuff behind… I could go on and on and on, wish we could sit with each other and have hours on end to just talk!! Someday, soon I hope! I love YOU!! xoxoxo

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