I’m joining Honoré at Morning Glory Studio and writing about my One Little Word – Present (click here to view all of my posts on this topic this year). Typically we gather on the last Tuesday of the month, but Honoré showed us all a little grace last week given that it was the week of Thanksgiving.
I almost didn’t publish anything today. My November was completely off-kilter and I’ve felt like the earth has been wobbling under my feet. I couldn’t find the energy to sit at my computer and put in the effort. But as soon as I made myself sit with this empty document, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about.
Bug woke up wailing last Wednesday morning just before 4am. I ran up the stairs and tried to comfort him. Because he’s nonverbal, often he cannot give any communication clues about what’s wrong, so I walked into his room completely unsure about what he needed. He has a sensory processing disorder in addition to autism and sometimes he just doesn’t want to be touched. He’s very sensitive to sound and sometimes talking, singing, or humming upsets him even more. This was one of those times. All I could do was lay in his bed with him, without touching him, without making a sound, and sit with him until this passed. I stayed with him for over an hour until he cried himself out and settled back into his bed. There was nothing I could do to help him feel better or find comfort. I could only be present with him.
There it is. Present.
Any parent knows how difficult it is to helplessly watch their child struggle. Any friend or relative knows how hard it is to see a loved one in pain and know that their journey has to be traveled, despite its difficulties. The only thing we can do is be present with them, honor them, and let them know they’re not alone.
During that time in Bug’s room, I couldn’t help but be worried about my own early morning routine. I wake up at 4:30 for a reason – there are things that I want to do for myself! Was I going to break my journal writing streak? Was I going to miss publishing a blog post?
But somehow, thanks to all of this practice with being present this year, I did something that I haven’t always been able to do: push my own thoughts aside and focus on the importance of the moment. Yes – that daily journaling streak is really important to me. Yes – publishing a blog post each Wednesday is something I’ve worked really hard on. And Bug is still more important than all of that. Sitting with him, even when I can’t do anything to help him, teaches me so much. Being his mother has been the most formative experience of my life.
(And don’t worry about Bug – he had a vaccination the day before and spent Wednesday feverish and out of sorts. I assume that his morning distress was related to that. By Friday he was totally back to his rascally ways! But of course – he’s now quarantined from his treatment center again. This is the second time since September!
And – I was able to write my morning pages and publish my blog post that morning, however rushed and messy they turned out.)
2021 Word of the Year
I’ve been working on a separate post for this topic for well over a month but it will be quite a while until it’s finished, so I’m going to take this opportunity to introduce my Word for next year.
Stillness started showing up over the summer and I couldn’t ignore it. One of my biggest stumbling blocks is jealousy. I plan to write more about how jealousy can be quieted by stillness soon, but in 2021 I hope to practice stilling my heart and living the life that I have*.
I plan to read Stillness is the Key in January and Real Happiness: A 28-Day Program to Realize the Power of Meditation in February to get me started on this journey. I can’t wait to see what 2021 has to teach me.
I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s posts this week. I can’t wait to see how your word showed up for you and if you’re making decisions about 2021. Thanks for visiting today!
*live the life that I have is a line from Daily Prayer by Pádraig Ó Tuama.