August 30, 2019
Being present. It sounds simple, but it’s oh so hard to do.
As a mom, this is heavy on my mind a lot. These babies of mine just keep growing and changing and getting bigger. (Seriously, who gave them permission to do that?!)
Being present just means connecting. Connecting with the people around you, fully listening to them, being interested in the sights and sounds happening wherever you are and appreciating them for what they are. A moment in time… and all those little moments? They make up your life!
Being present is something I know I want, but it’s definitely not something I’m perfect at. It totally takes practice!! As adults, there’s always a million things running through our brains trying to take us out of the moment.
Think back to your last vacation. Maybe you saved and planned for months, and then it was finally a reality. You’re lounging on the beach taking in a beautiful sunset with your family, or you’re hiking some nature trails to find that gem of a waterfall with your baby on your back.
It’s times like these we don’t want to miss a moment. We want to take it all in, let the experience make a lasting imprint on our memories. Soak in the colors of the sky, the wonder on your littles’ faces as they throw rocks into the roaring foam at the bottom of that waterfall.
But too often, we feel like our only choice is to experience these once-in-a-lifetime moments through a tiny rectangle. I do think that technology is a blessing, but it can also be an obstacle to being present if we let it. Instead of being present and letting the moment fill us with awe, we don’t even see the actual sunset or fireworks or waterfall. We watch our life’s most beautiful moments through a screen because (irony!) we don’t want to miss it!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not knocking screens. I mean…my life’s work is basically capturing things on a screen!! Ha!
But I think there is something super valuable about just stepping back and being in the moment.
If you really want to know what it is to be present, look at your child’s eyes as he takes these things in. Everything is brighter, more colorful and more alive through a child’s eyes. Sometimes it’s ok to lose out on the ‘gram to really take that in.
Story time! In 2015, we went to Disney and at the last minute, I decided to hop on Google and find a local photographer to follow us around the park to document our fun, and it was the BEST decision I made on this trip. As soon as she showed me the first picture on the back of her camera…I literally breathed a sigh of relief and it felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders!!
I wouldn’t have to worry about pulling out my phone to grab a shot of my kid’s face when he hugged Mickey…that was what she was there for. I could even be in the picture (and yes, you absolutely should be in the pictures. 😉 )
But being present is not just about enjoying the glamourous, Disney vacation photo ops.
The other day I was just watching my kids have a blast jumping on a trampoline in our backyard, and I had the thought: these are the “good ol’ days.” People talk about the good ol’ days as if some mysterious and unattainable magic happened to make those special memories. But each regular day is an opportunity to savor the little things, knowing that in 20 years, these seemingly insignificant days will be the ones that make you smile!
You know those moments from your own childhood that you remember through a honey-colored filter as just being pure joy? And it was just literally throwing a stick into a creek with your dad? Yeah, those times are happening now. Every day. Your weekend. The weekend where the fun or relaxation you were trying to enjoy was constantly interrupted because someone is crying or someone pooped? Yes, that weekend is FILLED with your future “good ol’ days” gold.
Slow down. Look. Listen. See the beauty in the ordinary.
Maybe your baby would only sleep on your chest all weekend. I know, mama. Those days seem hard. But being present just means being aware that some day you will miss things like being forced to pause your day and breathe in that intoxicating new baby smell as you rock her to sleep.
Those little moments. They add up. They are your life!
It’s with this in mind I’m offering a brand new type of session this fall! Let’s do something FUN, where you can focus 100% on enjoying your family while I take photos. Hello, pumpkin patch?? Backyard camping? Let me be that fly on the wall as your family makes memories…that you will actually remember because you can be present!
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