Showing Up For My Life

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In our digital world today, it can be so easy to get addicted to the internet. Believe me, I know. There was a time, a few years ago, when I could easily spend 6-8 hours a day in front of the computer… and I’m not even on Facebook or Twitter! And the majority of that time was not at all productive.

Since then, I’ve realized that was not the way I wanted to live my life, and things have greatly improved in that area.

Sure, there are times when I get carried away on Pinterest and waste a half hour, but most days the computer is only used for useful things during the day, like finding recipes and actual work.

Since I’ve stopped wasting so much time on the internet, I’ve been able to enjoy my children more, stay on top of housework and laundry, cook better meals, and find time to just BE.

I don’t want to look back in 25 years when my kids are all grown up and wonder what happened. I want to enjoy them while they are little and give them the time and attention they need and deserve. I want to form real relationships with real people, spend time with family and friends.

I want to actually live MY life, live my actual life, and not let a virtual world dictate who I am.

Sally Clarkson wrote about this in her blog post today:

Perhaps, on the internet, we build up a couple of thousand of friends–that does not mean they know us, our real lives, our silent aches of heart, our loneliness, our dreams, insecurities, needs or doubts, or love us. Often it just means, they, too, are trying to build their list. Our social networking friends cannot bring us a hot, delicious meal or a fall bouquet of blooming flowers when we are sick or depressed or just need to know we are on someone’s mind.

Our social media friends cannot hold our hand or give us a gentle embrace, when we pray through a heartbreak or sit and drink a real cup of tea on the porch as we watch a fall sun melt into the sky, and share secrets. Our social media friends are not here to touch, see, experience, giggle, to validate the memories of real life.

Our children also long for us to see them as the important ones–they long for our words of love and laughter at their jokes and engaging in their hearts and attention. Our children are only with us for a window of time, to receive our attention, loving touch, tasty meals, to celebrate life as we pour into their souls. If we are looking to the internet for our relationships, our children will look for love and attention wherever else they can find it–away from us.

We are their first choice, but they will settle for others if their needs are not met at home with our intentional and present attention.

I don’t want my children to turn elsewhere for the love and attention they need from me. I want to be there for them and not miss any more of my life than I have to.

The only way we will build great relationships with the people around us is if we spend less time online and more time in real life.

I just finished reading Sarah Mae’s e-book, The UnWired Mom, and found it very worth-while. Here’s an excerpt from her book:

An UnWired Mom is a woman of purpose who is not a slave to

anything, including the online world. She lives full and whole

and aware in the everyday, choosing to engage in the reality

around her instead of escaping to the Internet. She can work in

and enjoy the online space without having it consume her;

she shows up for her own in-the-flesh life.

I want to show up for my own life every day.

What about you?

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the impact of my words

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“Just hurry up!”

I catch myself saying that a LOT lately. It seems I’m constantly telling my son to hurry up with eating, dressing, undressing, going outside, coming in… everything.

It hit me the other day:

Do I really want my kids to hurry up about EVERYTHING?

Is that the message I want them to come out of childhood with?

The more I think about it, the more I realize that I want them to do just the opposite.

I want them to slow down. To enjoy life. To cherish every moment.

And if I’m always telling them to hurry up, how will they ever learn to JUST. SLOW. DOWN.

The words I say have a huge impact on the way their little minds think, the way I speak to them becomes their inner voice to themselves.

Is ‘hurry up’ really what I want their default thought-line to be? Is that what I want them to tell themselves, subconsciously, for the rest of their lives?

No, I don’t.

While there are times that it’s necessary to do things quickly, I do not want to instill in my children the feeling that life is a race against time, like if they aren’t fast enough, they aren’t good enough.

Because the truth is: they are always good enough for me, no matter how quickly, or slowly, they accomplish things.

I will always love them.

If I want them to know that hurrying doesn’t make them any better, if I want them to slow down and enjoy life, then I need to change the way I speak to them.

If I’m trying myself to slow down every day, then I need to make my words match my actions, so they can learn to do the same.

It’s going to take some time to break this habit, but I believe it’s worth it.

Annoying Little Things

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You know those times when someone in your family (husband, child, whoever) just can’t seem to do that one thing right? And you start to feel the frustration and annoyance rising just thinking about it?

I’m talking about little things, like which side of the sink to put the dirty dishes (why on earth would you put them on the “clean” side?), or the way the books get stacked horizontally on the bookshelf (everyone knows they should be standing upright, no?!).

(Or the pronunciation of “mischievous”, “realtor” and “height”… and the correct use of apostrophes. Yep, that’s me, maybe a little OCD, I admit.)

Just the little things that annoy you every. single. time.

Now, a question: Have you ever tried (I mean, really tried) to look past the annoying and frustrating to find something pleasing and beautiful?

Just because you may think that, OF COURSE, the books should be standing vertically (and in order from tallest to shortest, please!), doesn’t mean that someone else cares at all about the books.

Maybe they care about how the shoes are placed by the door, or how their shirts are organized on the shelf, or the way the lawn is mowed.

Maybe, by doing things differently than the way you would do them, your child is letting his creativity or eye for detail show through, and your husband is telling you what really matters to him. That’s a beautiful thing!

But, all too often, we think that our way is the best way.

And we overlook the fact that their opinions matter too.

My point is that everyone has their little habits and things that matter to them, and just because you all happen to share a house and, possibly, a last name, doesn’t mean everyone should do things the same way (or.. your way).

Accepting others’ “faults” and looking for their gifts can make your life a LOT less stressful. A challenge, yes, but probably worth the effort.

And maybe it will help you see a few things that you do that are annoying to everyone else around you as well.

My goal this week: Focus on the good I see, and let the little things slide. And smile!

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If you’re new… head here to read about the purpose behind this blog (and perhaps a little bit of encouragement?)

From the Mother of a Down Syndrome Child

Photo by albastrica mititica – Click photo for original source

Deanna posted an outstanding article on Life As Mom recently. She has 2 children, one with Down Syndrome, and shares one important lesson she’s learned since she first became a mother. Through all the trials, she eventually learned one thng:

One day I put two and two together — sometimes it takes me a while — and realized that the reason why this was so hard wasn’t because I had a child with medical problems or an extremely needy and demanding son.

The problem is motherhood. It is hard – end of story.

Head over here to read her post in its entirety. It will give you a completely new perspective on motherhood.