My seven-year-old daughter cheerfully practices the piano almost every night after dinner. While cleaning the kitchen, I listen as she gracefully stumbles through songs like “Skipping Rocks,” “Tip Toe,” and most recently, “Jingle Bells,” and “Go Tell it On the Mountain.”
On this particular evening, I was especially tired and the thought of actually sitting down and listening to her practice sounded quite appealing—not to mention very “Hands Free” of me to leave the dirty dishes on the table and the kitchen floor unswept to spend time with my daughter.
I went out to the front room where her keyboard finds its home. Her agile little fingers had already begun navigating the keys to produce choppy, yet delightfully pleasing music to a mother’s ears.
I sat down on the soft gold couch immediately thinking how comfortable it was. In fact, it was so relaxing that I decided to stretch my body out and fully recline. As my daughter continued to practice, I tried to recall the last time I relaxed on this couch….or any couch for that matter.
Wow. I knew that slowing down was a real problem for me, but the fact that the last time I could remember actually lying down on a couch was when the show Friends aired revealed a real problem.
Immediately I knew there was one more item I needed to add to my Definition of Daily Distraction. In case you are interested, here is the full (yet constantly modified) definition.
Rachel’s Daily Distraction consists of:
Anything that takes the focus off what really matters, prevents me from being fully present, holds me back from enjoying life, taking risks, being my true self, and/or simply having fun.
May include, but not limited to: unneccesary use of handheld communication devices, text messaging, email, Facebook, Internet, radio, television, excessive to-do list keeping, over commitment, spreading myself too thin, excessive feelings of worry, guilt, inadequacy, perfection, self-doubt, and/or pressure to act or look a certain way.
Plus the latest addition: The inability to slow down, sit down, relax, and/or get a restful night of sleep.
Just then, my daughter turned and smiled, obviously pleased with the solitary, yet attentive audience member. I had to admit, “Go Tell It on The Mountain” played by one of my very favorite people in the whole world had never sounded better.
At the conclusion of the song, I clapped loudly and told her how well she played.
I was expecting her to turn the page and start on “Jingle Bells,” but she didn’t. In fact, she didn’t play one more note on her keyboard that night. But what she did do brought tears to my eyes and sealed the latest addition to my Definition of Daily Distraction.
My seven-year-old daughter walked over to where I reclined and laid her body down right on top of me and collapsed. She carefully adjusted herself so her head rested directly above my beating heart. And then she let out the most beautiful sigh. Was it a sigh of relief? Contentment? Exhaustion? I’m not certain, but I could swear the sigh whispered, “I am so glad you are here.”
Because I had slowed down, my daughter was able to catch me.
Based on her position, she made sure I was not going anywhere. And that was fine. Because there was no place else I’d rather be.
Why not put a twist on your New Year’s resolution this year? Create your own definition of Daily Distraction and then pick the one thing that is preventing you from living in THIS moment and enjoying life without restraints. What habit or reoccurring negative thought robs you of moments in your life that can never again be returned? Enough is enough. Isn’t time to take your life back? Let 2011 be the year you truly start living.
The Keys to Distraction by Hands Free Mama, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.