Ive written before about my goal of mindfulness and my related hatred of multi-tasking. Mindfulness, to me, is basically being conscious at all times (or as much as I can be) of what I am doing and why I am doing it. I try to eat with mindfulness, actually tasting and experiencing what I put in my mouth. I try to raise my boys with mindfulness, conscious of what I am saying, what I am doing, and what I want them to gain out of it. I cook and shower and clean all with a mindfulness towards what I am doing. It is difficult to explain, I suppose. But too often we race thru life and never stop to EXPERIENCE. The simplest moments can be full of so much grace and beauty. Multi-tasking makes it almost impossible to experience or enjoy what you are doing. And so I have long waged a war against it.
Yet I have found this week that multi-tasking is unfortunately a fact of life as a mother of 2 children under the age of 2. There have been definite moments where my goal has not been mindfulness so much as survival.
I realized this the other day as I nursed Malachi while wearing him in a sling, read Zeke (perched precariously on the counter) a book (thank the Lord I've memorized most of his books), and made dinner (which is in itself multi-tasking...baking bread, stirring soup, fixing a salad) all at once. I wasn't thinking about any of it. Or more correctly I was thinking about ALL of it, which left me no room to experience any of it.
But I am learning to enjoy those moments in their own way. Because, after all, they are only moments. Another time I will be able to nurse Mal in quiet and gaze into his eyes as he gazes into mine. I will think about all my hopes and dreams for him and I will breathe in the scent of him and know that this time together like this is so sooo short. And next time I read to Zeke I will have the time to relish in his questions and in his comments and wonder at how smart he is getting and laugh at all our inside jokes and point at the particular bunny that we always always point to. Another night I will perhaps make dinner in peace and I will enjoy the sticky resistance of the bread dough and the beautiful color and crispness of the carrots I am shredding for the salad and enjoy the deep aroma of the soup boiling on the stove. I will be able to stop to be thankful for the blessing of so much good food, and I will think about how this nightly service of dinner-making so wonderfully represents my love for my family.
Of course on yet another night I will be sticking a pacifier in Mal's mouth to get him to wait 5 more minutes and plop Zeke in front of some cartoons only to realize we are out of some essential ingredient and then call Josh to pick up a pizza on his way home from work. But that is ok. They are only moments. And its in the most hectic of moments, I'm finding, that a split second of mindfulness brings the most joy.
Amid all the chaos that night I had just a second, a tiny second, where I had the clearness of mine to think "I can do this. I AM doing this. My days will never be so joyfully hectic again."