Mindful Monday: be present

“Just a minute!”

I’ve been saying it way too often lately. And each time I say it, I know that I’m putting my kids off too much, which makes me feel more frantic to finish up whatever it is I’m doing. Strangely, this seems to make me say “just a minute” even more.

There’s nothing wrong with asking kids to wait sometimes. In fact, I think it’s good for them to learn that Mom and Dad have grown-up business they have to attend to sometimes, and are not always available to jump up and help immediately. But when I get that anxious, annoyed, frustrated feeling while I’m ‘just a minute’-ing – which is often accompanied by escalating attention-seeking from the kids, which in turn makes me more annoyed, anxious and frustrated –  it’s a pretty good indicator that I’ve crossed an unhealthy line.

The truth, of course, is that I’ll never really be “done” with all the things I want or have to do. And honestly, sometimes I say “just a minute” not because I’m actually doing anything important, but because I’m trying to avoid Real Life Stuff like sibling squabbles and dirty dishes. And those things don’t go away; they just pile up, needing my attention, while I stare hunch-shouldered at my computer screen, tapping and clicking away.

It’s our Spring Break, and I’m taking this opportunity to unplug and be more present. We’ll be heading up to Grand Rapids tomorrow for a family getaway, so I’ve got some posts lined up and plan on being mostly offline. It’ll be quieter here than usual, but if you’ve been feeling distracted and disconnected lately too, I know you’ll understand. It’s time to tell my blog and Facebook “just a minute” and put the attention on my family.

I’ll see you next week, and please share your Mindful Monday intention in the comments!

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