Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Freeze Frame


When I was little I used to count down the days to my birthday.  The day after my birthday I was already planning on what I wanted for my next birthday and what kind of party I was going to have.  When I was in middle school I coudn't wait to be a teenager.  When I was in high school I couldn't wait to graduate and go away to college.  When I was in college I couldn't wait to meet the man of my dreams, graduate and start my new life.  When I got married I couldn't wait to start a family.  When my babies were little I couldn't wait for them to smile, sleep through the night, cut their first tooth, take their first steps and of course plan their first birthday party.

Well I can honestly say now that I don't want to look forward anymore.  I don't want to hurry up just to have an important event pass right by in the blink of an eye.  I want to slow down time and I need to do it NOW.  All I keep hearing in my head over and over is "like sand through the hour glass...so are the days of our lives". 



It's not only about getting older.  Yes I'm in my late 30's now, but I'm ok with that for the most part.  As the years go by I am discovering more about myself and that gives me a clarity I haven't had before.  What upsets me is that precious moments are happening right in front of me and I'm scared that I won't remember them.  I'm scared that they will fade away to a part of my mind that is not easily accessible.  I might forget and that scares the crap out of me.  Sometimes I feel as though I'm coasting along checking off my to do list for work, checking off my to do list at home and I'm lost in the monotony of it all.  I get so fired up about marking things off the seemingly never ending list that I am not present.  I'm wasting precious time making lists and marking things off.  Wanna know what my biggest accomplishment was today?  marking through 10 out of the 18 things on my work to do list.  My mind was so cluttered with the I have to remember to do this...I can't forget to do this....I need to write this down....that I can't even tell you the name of the book my 5 year old read to me tonight.  She read a book outloud to me by herself and I can't tell you what it was about. My mind was at capacity with the "have to's" that I forgot where I was.  And I really want to kick myself for that.


Maybe that's why I take so many pictures.  I want to be able to jog my memory so that I can remember the little moments that make up this life of mine.  Do you feel like you are constantly trying to beat the clock?  Do you find yourself watching the sands through the hourglass only tomake yourself more anxious about what you haven't gotten done?  Please tell me I'm not alone.  All I can do is my best and right now my best is not cutting it.



19 comments:

Dotti said...

One of the sweetest gifts I've found as a grandparent is that you do seem to live more in the moment with your grandkids than you do with your own kids. I'm fortunate that my granddaughter is an almost daily presence in my life. As I watch her grow, I think, "I don't remember her mother doing this ..." It's hard, really hard, while you're raising your kids to live in the moment. Photos will help. Just be sure to print a goodly number of them, too! :) Lovely post ...

Hugs,
Dotti

Carol said...

Oh Leigh! This is such a beautifully, vulnerably written post! And you are absolutely not alone in these feelings! And I think your stage of life is the hardest one for this particular issue. It's global and personal at the same time. We are an over-stimulated,multi-tasking society and it's overwhelming all of us. And on a personal level, our abilities, as well as our values and interests and problems are always changing. Taking a breather - whether it's a physical breather like meditation (which you do NOT have time for now), or a visual breather, like photography and the arts, is the best thing we can do for ourselves. Or finding a grateful moment each day - anything to force ourselves to slow down is really important, I think. Hang in there - and enjoy life! Thanks so much for opening your heart!
Peaec

terriporter said...

Oh, I've been there! It just all goes by so fast that if you blink you miss it. I tell young mothers all the time not to wish their kids' lives away, waiting for the next stage. Just try to savor the age they are and hold on to every memory because the memories are going to be so precious to you down the road. You are definitely on the right track, realizing that it is happening and trying to slow down. I don't think I thought about that when I was in my 30s. I wasn't a working mother and still I felt that there just weren't enough hours in the day. As Dotti said, take lots of photos (you already do) and as Carol said, find a grateful moment each day. I think being consciously grateful for the "now" really helps us to savor it. Ah, Leigh, you have given a lot of people something to think about today. Thank you.

Misty said...

Me too. I am right with you. I don't know what to do about it though. I am trying to work on keeping myself healthy and to maintain a high enough energy level that I can take good care of my family. I find that when I am tired and not taking care of myself, I dread everything and appreciate very little. Eating well and exercising daily gives me what I need to read sixteen library books a day, or get my kids to the park rather than letting time slip by indoors. Thank you for the post.

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Ahh look at all of us seasoned ones.

For me, photography was such a great "moment in time" reminder. Yes, keep trying to capture great moments and keep trying to live in that moment -- but honestly you are doing the best you can.

What more would you expect of your children, your hubby, or a friend -- the best they can do. Every day our "best" might change a little bit. What I would caution you about is dont have only a face full of a camera that your children remember. Be sure and be in some of the photos with them; but mostly when a moment like your reading the book-- slap yourself upside your head and remind yourself to be THERE in that moment. For her, yes... but a lot for yourself.

This is a lovely written post and I hear you! Be kind to yourself and know that you are trying. I say well done!

Hugs
Claudia

heyjudephotography said...

Leigh this is a great post, and as you can already see, one that many of us can relate to. It is important that you have realized that you need to slow down a little, to pay attention more. I know soo well how time flies. I have a son who is turning 21 in June, and a 9 year old son. I find myself really paying attention to the little things my younger son does, and says. I find myself really looking at him to remember how he 'was', all the little things about him. I feel blessed to have the memories of my older son when he was little, and I feel blessed to have the realization that time flies, and it will be no time before my younger guy is turning 21 also! Your photos will help. So take all the pictures you want. But remember to not only record the moment, but to enjoy it too. Harder said than done in our busy lives, but worth the effort!

Linda said...

There's never enough hours in the day to get it all in! Pictures do help but like others have said, be there in the moment, put the camera down, the shot will wait, the time will not.
Although I must admit that if I had an iPhone when my kids were little, there would be lots more pictures!

xo,
Linda

Deanna said...

Golly, what a beautiful post, Leigh. I don't have any answers for you, you know what to do, slow down, savor each moment with your children, because they do, they really do grow up way too fast, and it goes just as fast with grandchildren. I think I was so focused on keeping a house, being a new Mom, and trying to budget on not too much money that I lost great moments. When my grandchildren came along, I was working full-time, so lost moments there also. You are realizing it now, which is a good thing....I didn't realize my lost moments until they were all lost.

leighlovedesign.com said...

Thank you for all the encouragement!

leighlovedesign.com said...

Such a good reminder to not only take photos but to print them too! I've got to get some printed out and in albums or something.

leighlovedesign.com said...

You are so right Carol. There is so much going on with all the technology that has become part of our everyday lives. Photography is definitely my breather and I love the idea about finding a grateful moment each day. Thank you so much for the insight!

leighlovedesign.com said...

Totally understand Misti! I found myself dragging last year as far as energy goes so I made the conscious decision to make some changes in my life. I went vegan over 4 months ago and it has really helped not only with my energy level, but also helps me feel like I am being the healthiest I can be for my family. I need to fit some sort of exercise in as well...but there I go again...adding one more thing to my to do list :)

leighlovedesign.com said...

I am really trying to get "in the picture" more Claudia just like you said! Thank you for the words of encouragement!

leighlovedesign.com said...

It is so great to know that everyone struggles with this! Thank you!

leighlovedesign.com said...

I've been trying to remember that Linda. I don't always need to have the camera in their face. I need to put it down and get out there and run around with them! The thing I love so much about instagram is that it's become an easy way for me to have some sort of daily journal. I love the convenience of it!

leighlovedesign.com said...

You may not have all those moments recorded, but I'm sure you lived them! Sometimes I feel like I'm there, but not really there if that makes any sense. Thank you so much for your realness! I so appreciate it!

stephmull said...

Leigh - I am right there with you! I think you and I lead parallel lives! I checked off 7 of the 10 things on my work to do list today and am always thinking about what else needs to get done at home. I, too, want to enjoy those precious moments with my kids and feel I've been working at it more over the past 6 months, but have a long way to go! Thanks for this awesome, real life post! But don't forget....you are a good mom!!
xoxo,
Steph

Danielle (elleinadspir) said...

Great post Leigh. I feel the same way. I love watching B grow and change. I don't want to stop time...but I do want to make sure in present and enjoying it. It's so easy to just go through the motions of the day. I need to slow down. And I need to take more pics for sure!!! And journal! Which I guess is my blog, but I need to update my B journal. Ok...it's on the todo list ;)

leighlovedesign.com said...

Thank you for stopping by Danielle and taking the time to read it. You're right it's all about being present and that can be so hard in these busy times. Your blog is a perfect journal. Have you ever printed it out into a blurb book?

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