My life has done a bit of a 180 as of late. I went from being the epitome of a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM) – basically never going anywhere without my kids – to being out of the home every. single. day. of the week. When I started Yoga Teacher Training (YTT), other opportunities presented themselves as well. Before having kids, my regular life included work, university classes, yoga, running, and volunteering. I really didn’t (and still don’t) like the idea of idling. When the opportunities to volunteer at a yoga studio and tutor more frequently presented themselves, I was excited to get back to having a schedule more like my former-self would have had. I have always loved feeling like I’m accomplishing a lot. With commute time, I would be out of the home 30 hours a week. I was excited to work on myself, while continuing to be home the majority of the time.
YTT has been nothing short of amazing. Aside from gettin back into shape, delving into discipline I adore, and meeting some pretty fantastic people, there have been these little nuggets of knowledge that have incredibly beneficial applications to life. One of the concepts we learned, and I have already discussed in a previous post is that of Aparigraha. It literally translates to the English term ‘non-grasping’. This principle urges un-grasping because there are things we hold on to mistakenly thinking we need them. However, holding on to them so fiercely will ultimately lead to our demise. Examples given included grasping onto an unhealthy relationship; moving from one romantic relationship to another never letting go to be single long enough to truly heal; having and being overcome by material possessions; being way too preoccupied with social media to the point it is taking away from actual life; and, creating a schedule, or life that is so busy that you lose sight of purpose. There are definitely a few of these examples that apply to me. When this lecture in our YTT came, I was already on the verge of purging our stuff, which you can read about here. I will leave a post about my social media diet to another day. At the time of my lecture, I had already started diminishing my time spent on those outlets. What I hadn’t even acknowledged yet was my schedule.
Though I enjoy all aspects of the commitments I have outside of the home, I find it incredibly hard to leave my kids. Some days, I’m only out of the house for about an hour. Nevertheless, as it stands right now, I have a commitment that takes me out of the home on a daily basis. Because of this, I constantly feel like I’m leaving. As each day goes by, I find it harder to leave them. Not wanting to renege on any commitment, I found myself praying that something would give and I would get clarity of what to let go of.
On Tuesday, I woke to find out my baby-sitter was sick and couldn’t take care of my kids. Wow. Though I REALLY didn’t want to call in (baby-sitter is) sick, I was so grateful for the opportunity to just be with my little ones. Whenever my dad is asked what he is grateful for, without fail he starts with, “I’m grateful for the gift of this day…”. This phrase kept replaying in my head. I was so grateful for the gift of that day. Our home was a disastrous mess (as it all too often is). However, I let the mess sit, and I just basked in whatever given thing my toddlers wanted to do. We played. We read. We baked cookies (and my daughter ate more cookie dough than I’m willing to admit).
They napped at separate times, giving me one-on-one time with each. As the afternoon unfolded, we played some more, read some more, and finally, I turned on the tv to start dinner. When my husband called me to say he was running late, and likely would not be home in time for me to make tutoring, I, again, felt momentary guilt for having to cancel. But again, I was grateful that I could continue my day of concentrated kid-time. I took my next queue from the show my kids were watching, and decided dinner would be held in our own DIY restaurant. (The synopsis of the episode is Calliou’s parents are going for dinner. He wants to go too. His baby-sitter suggests they play “restaurant”. Caillou loves it!)
Our DIY Restaurant
What we Used
- Piece of paper (as menu and for me to take their order)
- An inordinate amount of references to being in a restaurant
What we did
I lit the candles, and led my two little ones from the kitchen into the “restaurant,” as a hostess (granted a hostess holding her patrons’ hands) would do. I sat my guests down at our dinner table and pointed out the candlelight. My patrons then insisted on blowing out the candles more times than I can count, until such time as Management had to say, “All done”. I then took their drink order, and reminded my exuberant customers that at a restaurant, we say, “Juice please“. Then, I read off the menu which containing only what I had already made. I served my table, and we “cheers”ed one another until such point as Management, yet again, had to say, “All done”. The guest in seat two, as we would refer to her in the restaurant industry, told me repeatedly, the food was “deee-ish-ous”. While, Seat One licked his plate clean. In my real-life almost decade in the service industry, I had had countless customers suggest they wanted to do this, but this was my first time actually seeing it done! It was quite something!
Suffice it to say, this surprise day off was very much needed. I did know in my heart if hearts, it is a fallacy to think that being busy is admirable or something to maintain. Having a chalked full schedule may make me feel purposeful because there are a lot of reminders in my phone and a lot of ink on my calendar. In truth, superfluous to-dos take away from my real purpose and what’s really important in life. I still have some wiping of the proverbial slate to do. But man, am I ever grateful for the gift of each day I am present with my kids.
How do you maintain focus on what’s important? I would love to hear your tips and tricks!