My counselor has been challenging me with practicing intentionality and mindfulness. What does this look like? It means instead of thinking about the "next thing" I need to do, I appreciate the scene I am playing out at the time. Here are some specific examples...
- In the morning before jumping out of bed, I start the day with a great present moment awareness, setting the stage for calmness. I soak in the sun shining through the windows, the warm body beside me, the gracious God who has allowed me to wake one more day.
- In the shower, rather than planning and rehearsing through my morning or my day, I take time to feel the water, smell the soap. Treating myself to some great smelling lathery goodness is helpful.
- In driving - from walking to the car to driving between work/appointments/etc, I find opportunities to walk slower, drive more cautiously, use red lights as a moment to breathe deeply, listen to music or podcasts, have deep conversations with the five year old in the back seat who is wise beyond his years.
There are several other times through the day to practice this mindset - I remember my friend Melody purposefully trying to enjoy dinner preparation with an adult beverage and good music, instead of looking at it as a chore.
At counseling as we went over these mindfulness practices, I said, "It's hard for me to believe I should be enjoying each of those times in my day because I see them all as purely transitional."
I paused as I physically felt a light bulb go on so bright in my head that it almost exploded.
"Holy cow," I exclaimed, "that's how I've been viewing this whole waiting-for-baby season of life."
A huge grin spread across the counselor's face. "Exactly," she confirmed.
What have I been missing in the last two years of this adoption journey? CONTENTMENT. INTENTIONALITY.
There have been so many precious gems of joy as a family of three. Yes, we want so badly to grow our family. "I just feel like I'm never going to be a big brother," Levi says with exacerbation. And yet...these are days, weeks, months, years, we will never get back. I don't want to miss the time that Levi was four, five, and six because I was so tangled up in my own bereavement.
Last summer I did really good at making it the "Summer of Levi," trying to appreciate all the things we could do because we only had one kid who was now far past the toddler years. Grief and depression and longing for the "next thing," has robbed me of that joy for the past few months.
Yes, our family is in transition, and it may be for a long time yet. But from this moment on, I refuse to let that define my contentment.