I've been thinking about how to move between the variety of activities that I do every day: some of them on my own, some with individual offspring, some as a family, some with friends, some with people I don't know, who I may be meeting for the first time of many, or the first and last time. What seems to work best is when I can apply that cliche of "living in the moment." How to live in the moment? It's not a superficial pursuit, in my mind. It's a way of being present and committed to whatever I'm doing at any given time. Actually, it makes life way more fun. Throw myself in: that's how it feels. Just plunge in.
Going to church has been a helpful reminder of how to live in the moment. Going to church is not always an activity which I feel like prioritizing; but if I do it without thinking of all the things I might otherwise be doing, or all the things I have yet to do, if I simply go and be, it's a very lovely experience. I talk to people I wouldn't otherwise; I hear and sing music; sometimes I listen to messages that are interesting or valuable; I am with family. I realize it's not for everyone, and I realize also that there are times in a life when it is next to impossible to commit energy to anything but sheer survival, but when the luxury of time and energy exists, a great deal of pleasure comes from entering fully into a moment.
I'm not against multi-tasking; sometimes multi-tasking is what saves a really dreary day from mind-numbing boredom ... but it's really freeing to do just the thing that one is doing, and nothing else. That sense of impatience, of wishing one were elsewhere, disappears.
I got to go and dance for a few hours last night. My youngest three siblings have a band called Kidstreet, and they were opening for another Canadian band called Shout Out Out Out Out at a local club. We got us some babysitting, and I put on dancing shoes and sparkly eye shadow (couldn't waste the stuff I bought for Halloween), and off we went, ready for a good time. It was so fun. Dancing itself was wonderful. Seeing my brothers and sister get the crowd happy and excited was wonderful. Being out without children was wonderful. I would love to take my kids to see their uncles and aunt play sometime, too (well, the older ones, anyway). My brother Karl is teaching AppleApple drums and Albus guitar, and he's also doing a lot of musical education: giving them ear training so that they can pick out the different instruments and parts of a song, and also having them listen to some real cool music. I would love for my kids to come to experience music as something they love and have opinions about, but also as something that they can play and make themselves. Music is so easily shared. And music can make those "living in the moment" moments absolutely effortless.
Labels: church, music, organizing