Lessons in Letting Go & Being Present






















You know what I did the other night, as I drove home from work? I left the day behind. I shed it slowly on the drive home…I left pieces of it scattered on Ocean Park Blvd., strewn across the ever-crowded 405, fragments on the side of the 90.  It wasn’t a bad day either, on the contrary it was actually pretty good. I was busy, productive. But sometimes when I go home I’m not entirely there, you know? Clearly I’m physically present, but my mind can be halfway in the office and halfway in our home, and without even meaning to I’m not present for my family as fully as I want to be.  I don’t want to miss a moment-life is fleeting, and before you know it that tiny little baby has turned into a teenager and you’re left scratching your head trying to piece together where all the time went.  I want to soak up every second when I’m with Little C, so when she requested that I join her in her nightly ritual of dancing to lullabies in princess dresses, I stopped what I was doing and joined her.  I left the toys on the floor, the dishes in the sink. I stopped moving and organizing and wiping counters and pulled on the proffered tutu and just danced. You see, I left behind the day and then I left behind all of the usual preoccupations that distract me from being THERE. If you haven’t figured this out yet, I’m super OCD. Those who know me well know that I spend a great deal of time cleaning-there are few things more enjoyable to me than a freshly washed carpet (sad but true). For me, cleanliness lends a sense of calm to the busyness (and chaos) that is life, but like anything else it can become all-consuming.  Sometimes you have to let go, something that I am slowly learning. The world will not end if you leave the dishes for later, the universe will not fall apart if you don’t make the bed or sweep the floors. And yes, I realize that not everyone is a weirdo clean-freak like me, so consider my examples metaphors for whatever it is that keeps you from being present, whether its the cell phone, the television, whatever.  We have been working on not having our phones at the table during dinner to ensure that all of us are present and simply TOGETHER-no distractions, no outside influences.  Life is far too short to miss out on life, to miss out on dancing with your daughter, or dressing your kitty in a tutu (and I mean how CUTE is Dexter?!).  Life is too short to not lie on the floor and listen to your little one tell you stories about their day, to watch as their eyes light up and their hands busily demonstrate the moments that captured their attention.  Life is too short to miss out on the kisses and hugs and I love yous. There will be time for cleaning and emails and facebook and instagram tomorrow, I promise. Today, practice just letting it all go. Take a deep breath, relinquish your control (and your cell phone), and enjoy. There are treasures and beauty in every moment if you are present enough to see them.