Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The value of being present

How often have you felt that time is moving slowly? An image that comes to mind is a blistering hot day when it feels as if the tarmac is going to melt rather akin to some Dali painting. As the heat beats down, time seems to almost stop.
Alternatively when you have two children under two it can feel as if one is stuck in groundhog day as one day rolls into another. The repetition can be mindnumbing and the isolation intense.
At other moments, it is as if time speeds up. Before you know it the eldest is improving their fine motor skills, the youngest is chomping at the bit at the thought of going to pre-school and having a scene on the days she is unable to go. This week's favourite game in our house is "packed lunch". The newly acquired lunch box and water bottle feature big time. The former is filled with all kinds of pretend food, toy plates and cutlery from the girls' kitchen and the garden becomes the picnic site.
As I contemplate these changes, I am aware that I used to yearn for the time when nappies would be a thing of the past. Last Wednesday night another milestone was reached when the 2 3/4 year old had her cot transformed into a bed. Sunday night she went through the night without a nappy for the first time and was dry so that was yet another change. How different it has been from the experience with the first child. It was exciting when the elder reached each of these milestones and I could not wait for her to do it. Second time round the growing up of the younger has been tinged with sadness. There are no more babies in the house nor will there be more going forward. So as the youngest leaves one stage behind there is a sense of finality, of a door closing.
Reflecting on this helps me to realise why it is so important to enjoy each phase of one's children's lives because they move on so quickly. What I am holding onto from this week was the joy that the youngest felt from owning a lunchbox which had Thomas, Pingu, Fireman Sam and Bob the Builder on it. It is lovely to witness such joy at so small a thing. Oh to be able to hold onto that sense of innocence or recreate it as an adult. Helping clients to understand the importance of being present and rekindle that sense of delight and playfulness is part of what I do.
This post has been written for Josie's Writing Workshop and the prompt I chose was time.


  1. I find kittens help to plug the "no more baby" veil on their growing up.

    Mind you it has its limitations, I'm up to seven cats now.

    big fat hug love, I know that feeling and it can sneak up and take your breath away somtimes.

  2. Hello Sarah thanks for the comment. Wow 7 cats that's quite something. I would love to have a cat but my husband will only accept a dog and I am not keen on them. Thanks for the hug - we all need 12 of those a day and I don't think even w/ 2 small children that I manage that most days ;-)

  3. When I was growing up my mom used to always tell me to 'stop wishing my life away.' It seemed I was always waiting for the next milestone, holding my breath until I reached it. I love the fact that you help people 'rekindle that sense of delight and playfulness.' That sounds like one of the best things anyone can do for a living and it must be wonderful to help people in that way.

  4. Well thank you very much for that comment. I can certainly relate to what you have said too. I always thought when I am older, x will be easier until I realised that actually we all have fears and it's about letting our light shine and by so doing permitting others to do the same. Great to see a new face on the blog. Going to check out yours now.

  5. I really like this post Kate. I find it hard sometimes, because things ARE so hard, not to wish for the next stage, the next day. Something I am trying very hard to do is be more present, to allow time to just pause for a while.

    Thank you for the reminder.

  6. Thanks Josie for your comments and your compliment it means a lot because your writing always inspires me. If you are aware of wanting to STOP, pause and take it all in then you will gradually build it into your day. Remember it's a bit like learning any new thing: at first it seems very difficult, almost impossible and then it gets easier until it becomes part of your routine without even thinking about it. Your photos on the blog last week certainly captured the essence of that.