Today I’m joining Honoré at Morning Glory Studio with her One Little Word link up. We gather on the last Tuesday of each month to share a few thoughts about our word of the year. My 2020 word is Present and here are a few links to catch you up on my progress so far:
- Intro Post
- January Update: in which you see pictures of the real state of my house.
- February Update: I considered the pros of removing Instagram from my phone.
- March Update: My recovery from an awful illness that threw me for quite a loop.
- April Update: I had a positive experience asking for help.
- May Update: In which a woodpecker reminds me that I don’t have the whole picture.
- June Update: I shared a daily meditation that has been helpful with staying present.
And I’m still thinking a lot about those two passages from Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community by Pádraig Ó Tuama. Last week was really hard for me, but there’s one line in particular from this book of meditation that I keep thinking about.
First, a quick reminder about the book I’m discussing:
I discovered Pádraig Ó Tuama while listening to On Being. Here’s his bio pulled from their website:
Pádraig Ó Tuama is a poet, theologian, and conflict mediator. He is the inaugural poet laureate of The On Being Project and was the former leader of Corrymeela, Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organization. His books include two volumes of poetry, a daily prayer book, and a memoir, In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World.On Being
I had a few really hard days last week. Like, ugly crying in a corner. Or outside for all the world to see. I have felt so many conflicting emotions lately, but mostly restless and lethargic. I know many of us are feeling this way because: pandemic. Knowing that brings me some reassurance, but there’s so much I want to do yet don’t know where or how to start. And then I don’t seem to have the energy to even try to sort it all out. I scroll Instagram and see all of these families with their dozens of children all sitting around the table, pencils poised, and concentrating on the learning in front of them. Of course I know that these pictures capture just a fraction of a moment and doesn’t at all reflect the realities of these families, but I worry that I don’t have the energy or ability to create such a magical and enriching environment for my children. I worry that I’ve been lazy about setting the foundation and instilling the habit and joy of learning. I doubt and worry about everything you can possibly imagine.
As I sat crying in the rocking chair, I kept finding myself repeating:
We will live the life we are living.Daily Prayer, Pádraig Ó Tuama
This is where we are. I know that I can’t control anyone else in this world, even my children. But I can guide their behaviors, set an example, and help them find what brings them joy. We will live the life we are living and I want my children to feel love and joy. If I’m experiencing extreme push back about learning, then let’s put the books away and bring out music and paints, run around like crazy outside, or read the books that are really begging for our attention. Our time together isn’t about ticking off a to-do list and getting through a curriculum (even though that’s totally my personality), but loving each other’s company and enjoying the process of learning. Taking each moment apart, living in that present moment, and getting the most out of it without worrying about anything else.
We will live the life we are living has become a mantra for me – it reminds me that this is the only life I have, the people in it are precious and important, and I can only control my own behaviors. I wasn’t sure how helpful it would be to focus on the same meditation day in and day out, but I’ve stuck with Daily Prayer for the last couple months and am thankful to have it in my life right now. And it’s a good sign that this line just popped in my head when I needed it most – maybe I’m slowly internalizing the message. It’s kept me grounded and present, which has been my overarching goal this year.
When I sat down to write today’s post, I couldn’t believe that it’s been a month since our last One Little Word linkup. July completely flew by and we’re headed into August. I dread August (even though that’s what I named my cat) because of the lingering heat and summer weather. But I’m going to try to stay present for the entire month and find beauty in the warm days ahead. And I already can’t wait to find out what the month will teach me.
How has your word of the year been going? I can’t wait to read more of your posts and comments to find out!