Of course preparing myself to have a baby boy has me thinking of a lot of different ideas. I always thought it would be easier to raise a girl than a boy — for the simple fact that I am a girl and it felt more relevant to me. Having said that I have never really been a girly girl (nevermind the few years growing up that I was adamant that my sister play Barbies with me). Then I had to grow up fast and, well, my most girly girl self was replaced with real live survival.
Of course I enjoy a bit of dressing up — you know once every year, where I bring out those uncomfortable high heels, and Chris oohs and aahs, and then those shoes collect dust in the back of the closet. I am and always will be most comfortable with myself when I am comfortable. Flip-flops, comfy outfits, and hopefully all that just falls in the background so that others see just me. Not what I am wearing or how it fits. As none of that really matters. I digress — this blog post’s intent is nothing about that at all.
Over the weekend, I came across this article “Why Boys Need To Play With Girl Toys Too” and I thought I wonder what Chris thinks of that? No matter at the moment, because whether he is okay with it or not, the message that I left with that I want to bring in to our parenting (we’ll talk Chris) is that I want to teach my son to care. For some that may mean a boy playing with a doll, or maybe it is about nurturing an animal or pet, whatever the vehicle I want to make sure to show my son how to care. That in my mind starts with Chris and me. For a long time he will watch us, emulate us, and learn the way of the world from our example. If he wants to play with dolls and we do not let him, that sends him a message. You get the point.
And in the end, while I have not really even started this raise-a-child thing, I can tell you I was one (with not the best childhood), and I spent from the age of 9 – 23 babysitting, working in day cares, and nannying — what matters most is that you show them you care. You do this by being present, listening, and appreciating what they have to say. By showing you care, they respond and show that to others. To me that is what matters most.
Ah good people. I love me some good people. Do you know when you have those times when you have the opportunity to be surrounded by someone (or sometimes more than one someone) who is just so present, so clear in their thinking, and listens so intently that you feel completely heard, inspired, and appreciative of what they bring into the world?
Last night I had one of those times. Maybe it happens often for you (yes I feel that way in the presence of Chris). It also nice when it is a good friend, who maybe you have not seen in years, and you feel the conversation flows so easily from one thing to the next. This friend lives on the other coast from me and I do not see him and his wife often, but I am always grateful for the time we get to spend with each other.
I also think it can sometimes be rare to have these individuals in your life. The ones who are so attentive and care so much for what is coming out of your mouth. It is a give and take, a flow of ideas, it is a collaboration of sorts. A banter between minds that are constantly evolving and thinking. Looking together at how to grow and be better individuals.
For those of you in my life reading this, who do this in my life and in the life of others, I thank you. I really do. These are the kinds of conversations I want to have. I want to grow and learn with you. I want to be challenged. I want to try my best to make each individual encounter in my life make things better for others. Regardless of how you receive me, (my directness and transparency might make you uncomfortable), I do it for the bigger picture. I do it for all the good people out there who are present.
Sometimes we come across something that might be a bit out of our realm. We explore it, it opens our mind, and then we want to share it with others. I bet that happens all the time. Well, I suppose first you have to be looking at the world with an open mind, curiosity, and a desire to learn something new. I came across the blog: “Bad Witches” and a specific blog post titled: “Ten Signs You Are a Bad Witch.” It is an interesting read.
A line in #2 is how I live my life: “This may mean that eventually you go into stealth mode so as not to continually create alarm, but you don’t go stealth because you’re hiding or avoidant. You do it because you’ve got things to accomplish and only a limited amount of time here in the third dimension.” That is the way I see the world. I suck the life out of every damn day. I want to look back and know I did all I could.
#5 is a favorite: “You can always tell when someone is full of it.” So true, so true. I feel like my shit detector is always on, awaiting the moment someone goes on and on, and you think: “they are full of it.” Maybe I watch for that because telling the truth and trust are very important things for me. I cannot stand lies. Once they have started it is very hard to ever gain back that trust (at least for me). Mostly because then you never know going forward what is true and what is a lie.
Why else do I like this article? For many years I have had a strong passion for intuition and listening to the way of the world. I am very aware and in the moment to what my body is telling me and what energy I pick up from those around me. I try to always be very aware of the energy of the person/people I am interacting with throughout my day. Are they happy? Are they present? Do they need me to listen? Do they need guidance? Can I help them? Can I just be present with them?
While this article mentions witches (which is not a term that I gravitate towards) the ideas of being your badass self still resonate. Be your own badass witch.
Last night I responded to an email that had been in my inbox for a few weeks. I apologized for not responding for so long, yet I have to say it is normal for me to do that. Am I horrible friend? Maybe. Or I just care about sending a focused, well thought out response? Yes, yes, yes. I feel like when I finally have quiet time to respond, I want to make sure that I truly focus on that individual. Almost as though I am sitting right across from them at a table in a coffee shop, or cozy on a couch (depending on how close you are to said individual).
I want to give their message my undivided attention. I answer their questions, check in on life, and give an update on my world. What is it that makes me do this? I care that much. Maybe it was so many years of emails in my past work life, but I think about the effort I put into a message, and I think about the person on the receiving end, hoping they feel cared for by having contact with me. Now, do not worry, I am not an angel, nor am I trying to paint a picture of goodness. I merely am sharing because I think it is a way to care for someone in this crazy, fast, digital age.
So if you write shorter emails with minimal questions you will probably hear back from me quicker. If we have a more involved conversation via email, and I do not have focused windows of time to get back to you, then you might have to wait for an answer, but you will know that when I respond to you, it will be all about you. Focused. Present.
Do you think about that when you respond to emails? Do you just try to be done and move on to your next task, or do you really focus on the other person?
I am loving the Daily Om from yesterday. It was titled: “Enjoying Life.” Or what I like to call: “Living in the Moment.” How easy it is for us to go through each day getting caught up with everything that is on our To-Do list, the meetings, and our regularly scheduled routine. We often forget to live in the moment. Whether that means that we are not listening to those we are close to while they share a story of their day, or we forget to notice the new buds on our trees, or we miss seeing that we are growing and being challenged each day.
I love this line from this Daily Om:
“There is so much to be enjoyed and appreciated that we need to remember to pay attention to the present moment, because it is the only space in which we can experience being alive.”
Who does not want to feel ALIVE? If we can only remember to do that – to stay alive and in the moment. Why is that so hard to do? Why do we get so caught up in the future, in all we have to do? Why is it SO hard to stay in the moment, whether that moment is painful, unhappy, or exciting and exuberant? I think when life is exciting and going the way we want it to it is easier to stay in the moment, but when we are overwhelmed, stressed, or fearful about the future, it is hard to stay in the NOW. So any and every reminder helps to draw us back into what is happening, to what we are feeling, to reality.
That is my mantra this week. To stay in the now. To be present for the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. Are you with me? Can we be present 100% together?