We have fallen into a routine, working and living from home, and some days feel like Groundhog’s Day. At times it can feel endless…especially when winter lasts until mid-May. Get up, coffee, computer, cook, computer, cook, computer, repeat, repeat, repeat. We sprinkle in moments of joy along the way, but the repetitiveness can make it easy to take the time for granted. While enjoying our morning coffee the other day my husband said out of the blue, “I always remember to treasure moments like these because they’re not promised to last.” It was such a strange dynamic, everything feels the same, yet big change is happening all around us. I appreciate his reminders to savor the moments because you never know when it’s going to be the last.
I think back to March 12, 2020, the last day of school as we knew it. We all heard the news and were aware Coronavirus was sweeping across the world. The first few cases had arrived in our county and big change was upon us, but as I was going through that school day, it felt like any other day. I didn’t realize it was going to be the last. The governor’s order to shut down schools was released that evening so we all went about our school day as normal. I can’t remember any specific moments from that day, but I think back and had I known it was going to be the last, I would have tried to be far more present to savor each moment of the day. As we listen to tentative plans for what school may look like next year, and we are confronted with the reality that there is no going back to the way it used to be, I reflect on the last day of school in March, wishing I would have been just a little more present, a little more mindful, a little more intentional.
This is a life lesson that is more of a journey for me, than an event. It’s not the first time I notice in reflection that I didn’t realize something I had taken for granted was going to end, and I’m sure it will happen again, but I use these reflections to remind myself of the importance of slowing down and paying attention to what I am doing. To remember when my body and mind are not in alignment, it’s a sign I’m spending too much time in my head and not enough time being present in the moment. Thoughts have the power to drown out experiences leading to a loss of memories. When you’re not present in what is happening when it’s happening, then you can’t recall it later, you can’t reflect and savor the experience. So I am reminded, in the monotony of our day-to-day, the importance of practicing presence.