I was at a workshop the other day for work and the day started with some light team building. No problem, I was thinking. I’m all over this. First question… think about a time when… and that was it… checkmate. Anytime I’m asked to remember a time, or remember when, it’s a ride on the struggle bus. My kids often ask me obscure things like, “Mom, remember that time when I went shopping with you and you hit me when you found that purse you liked?” Ok, that one I do remember, in my excitement over finding an adorable purse, I hit him. As in “oooh, oooh, look at this purse!!” Ladies, can I get a nod on that one, I mean, it was a purse. But other things like, that time at the pool, or that time we were in the car and you asked us [insert whatever random fact you can think of], those things I struggle to remember.
I’ve chalked my lack of remembering up to my failing memory. Menopause brain, just saying. But in the workshop the other day, as I struggled to think up a time to share, something else occurred to me. I’m sometimes so busy rushing through life that I forget to take the time to actually live it and remember it. It seems like there are always so many things going on that I’m jumping from one thing to the next in rapid fire pace.
It’s exhausting. The details get blurred. And while I’m accomplishing and getting stuff done, I’m not able to remember the joys along the way. That’s not ok with me. Not ok to be so busy doing that I end up missing my life. Part of the joy of life, I think, is to be able to come up with so many answers to “remember a time…” that choosing just one is the struggle.
I don’t want to live like that anymore.
So I’ve been looking at how I can shift, how I can slow down long enough to notice the details. To celebrate the good times and, equally important, grieve the hard ones. At my weekly girlfriend coffee, we’ve been talking about multi-tasking. The scientific proof that if we say we’re good at multi-tasking, we’re really just kidding ourselves. I used to think I was the queen of multi-tasking. But…that’s a lie. I can look at it now and realize I only paid half attention, at best, to the multiple things I was doing.
But how do you stop. Our culture rewards multi-tasking. And we’re subjected to a constant barrage of information. We juggle our multiple devices, glued to our phones for fear of missing anything, and then add on the complexities of everyday living and the information that comes at us.
It’s a choice. And actually, it’s simple. Do one thing at a time. Really, that’s it. Simple, but maybe not easy. You could sit down at dinner and just eat, enjoying your food, actually realizing that you’re nourishing your body. Have a conversation with a loved one, no phones allowed. Focus on them, what they’re saying instead of being on edge wondering what you’re missing not checking your phone, your social media, what everyone else is doing. That’s just living your life through other people. Engage in the life that’s going on around you. Notice your environment, the natural beauty, let that fuel you. If you have to be on your computer, which I do for work, do that and then stop to talk to people around you. Don’t do both at the same time.
Simple. Just do and be fully in one thing at a time. Your life is beautiful, my life is beautiful, let’s truly live it. Be brave, your life has been right there with you the whole time.