Some of my friends are picking one word this year. A single word to sum up a goal or intention for 2015. A simple way to stay engaged after New Year’s resolutions are long forgotten.
What’s the first word that comes to mind for 2015?
Here’s mine: PRESENT
No, I’m not going to focus on this word for an entire year. I’m way too impatient (and I have too many words I’m excited about) so I’ll focus on one word a month. Want to join me?
This January, I’m asking myself if I’m really present – at home, at work, with others, and in my relationship with God. Am I engaged in the moment, or am I constantly preoccupied with everything else? More often than not, I can tell you what’s happening on my email, what’s going on on the other side of the world, or what’s on my calendar next week. But can I tell you what the person sitting beside me is thinking or feeling? Am I connected in real time?
This is something I’ve been thinking about for months. So much that I haven’t been blogging. I haven’t been writing. And I’ve backed off considerably from social media.
But this is about more than unplugging. Unplugging is a knee jerk reaction to something bigger. Unplugging is about pushing the pause button so I can stop and think. And listen. Fortunately, I have plenty of people who are willing to give me advice.
Starting with my third grade daughter.
“Mom, yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.” (Author Unknown)
Pretty timely, huh?
Over the last few weeks, I’ve had some serious down time. I’ve had the luxury of connecting with my family in real time. And I’ve learned an important aspect of living in the present. Being present means putting other people before yourself.
Several times over Christmas break, I have spent time jumping on the trampoline in our back yard. Not by choice. It’s freezing outside. I get dizzy jumping up and down. And I twisted my neck and broke my fingernails playing this crazy game on the trampoline called “Ga-ga.” It’s much easier to be selfish with my time. Being present requires me to engage. It requires me to consider the thoughts and give in to the preferences of others. It even requires me to play Ga-ga.
But my daughters love it. They light up whenever I jump, and they say things like, “Mom, this is so cool. I can’t believe you are actually good at Ga-ga.” You see, when I’m jumping on the trampoline, I have a singular focus. I can’t multi-task, I can’t take a phone call or text, and I can’t even carry a conversation. I just jump, laugh, and try not to get hit by the ball.
Do you make similar sacrifices to be actively present at home? How can you best engage in real time with your family in 2015?
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)