I also have a child just starting high school. Talk about a milestone...letting go. I feel very strongly the lyrical meaning of "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" by Sting. I am preparing to set him free, and it's scary and exciting all at the same time...just like when gave birth to him.
I now understand I must be more mindful of my actions, not just in parenting, but in everything I do.
I am one of those types who can get sucked into the black hole of links imbedded in everything I read online, so my day could easily pass by me faster than a toddler escaping his mother. Consequently, online is the one area I must fight to stay mindful every minute. To this end, I have started putting every little thing I need to accomplish each day on my calendar, and I adhere to my "social media posting/reading" time slot more strictly than any other. Because there are several wonderful writers whose posts I visit and comment often, I will need to make time to seek out, and read new writers weekly in order to expand my mental horizons with new information and opinions. I now know why posts and books are getting shorter and shorter - supply is following demand. I also use HootSuite to schedule regular postings to both Facebook and Twitter, and keep them scheduled at least 5 days in advance.
My mindfulness is also being applied to my writing. I have always been a "project" person - I get ideas, and if I don't write them down or record them on my iPhone while driving, they are lost forever...or until I happen to experience the same impetus to think of them again. This more than anything else has allowed me to get more writing done in a shorter amount of time! Since I am sort of a procrastinator...okay a lot of...even though I love to write, it is much easier to read. I can use a deadline as an excuses to lollygag all day, and power through my work at the last minute. With my new mindfulness that life is running out, I only allow myself this laziness occasionally, rather than weekly.
Back to my 14 year old...I only have 1460 days until he goes to college. Actually, I only have 12,030 HOURS of my son's time over the next four years until I let him loose on the world to make his own mark. (Yes, I'm also showing my OCD in having calculated this number four years in advance, considering extra time for weekends and holidays and only 6 hours during the school days, but if I'm confessing my procrastination, I might as well go all the way.) This number really made me sit up and say, "What?!" like I did when I heard Bill say what he did with Monica was not considered sex. I must have heard that wrong, I'm sorry, calculated that wrong...I don't understand...How could I only have mere hours left for my son to wake up every day to a breakfast I make, and go to sleep every night to my "L'amo"...? What about my youngest? He's turning 11 next month, and middle school goes by in a blink!
Hence, my mindfulness in everything I do. I won't overreact to this realization that I'm like Wile E. Coyote chasing after my Road Runner of a life. I won't wait outside the bathroom door while my oldest is inside taking a shower just to say, "I Love You" when he comes out - he told me that was creepy. I won't write for hours on end because I have so much to say, and so little time - my weak bladder muscles won't allow that.
I will simply be mindful of my thoughts and actions, and exercise my power of choice. I don't have time or energy to waste on petty thoughts, conversations and deeds. Life and love are too beautiful to cast a shadow on the world through my heedless actions.
How do you keep yourself mindful of all you want to accomplish and enjoy each day?
Mary Kathryn Johnson
Author ~ Entrepreneur ~ Mom
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