Uncovering the Now

So we found a tick embedded in my kid’s scalp from a hike last weekend…always a fun find. As it happens, she was in the woods again today doing a cross country meet with her school. Being the absolutely chill, uber not paranoid, completely relaxed mom that I am, I went to find her in the woods after leaving the pharmacy armed with the anti-Lyme meds. And since I happened to be in the woods, I took myself on a mini solo hike.

Being on maternity leave, I constantly have this feeling like I should be using this time to accomplish something (other than, you know, raising a tiny human). I should be looking for that next goal, completing that desired project, figuring out my life. Except, I had those as goals on my other maternity leaves, and I don’t think I ever did quite figure out my life. I had decided that this time, I would just aim to be present. I practiced this on my hike this morning, and you wouldn’t believe how much more pleasant a hike it was, how many more details I noticed, and just how much more fulfilled I was by the experience. Although living in the now is something I’ve always aspired to, it’s something I have perpetually sucked at. But succeeding today felt victorious, and it reminded me of a story that I told my daughter about when I was her age and doing a cross-country run of my own.

Each class was scheduled to run at a different time. When I got to the finishing line everyone was cheering, and I thought Wow, I must’ve done really well. Slowly, I noticed that I wasn’t running with my peers. Everyone was clapping for the leaders of the group that followed my class. I was in fact the last one from my class to have passed the line. I was never a fast runner, nor have I been a quick student in the art of being present. Some people are, and they make it to that particular finishing line without much effort. The just GET it. Me, I have been finding my way there with much faltering and struggling and with excruciating slowness. But accomplishing this goal this morning was like arriving at that finishing line. It didn’t matter that others had passed me along the way, and that there was no fanfare just for me. I had made it. At least for today.

Published by mtg

A woman. A mother. A wife. A writer. This is me.

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