Sunday, November 20, 2011

Going Through the Motions

Photo Courtesy of Studio7Designs

Do you ever feel the hours slipping away? Hear the days whooshing past you as one rushes into the next? Feel the years slipping through your fingers like water? Sometimes it’s hard to get a hold on things and it feels like I’m just going through the motions, meeting my obligations, checking off my responsibilities on some huge check list. In the quest to get things done, it’s easy to lose sight of the meaning behind the task or the joy that’s to be found in the journey.

This week our oldest daughter bought a house. I’m proud of her for being so focused, hard working and determined. And although the first thing friends and family say when I tell them her news is “Are you sad?” I feel like we’ve really made the most of our time together over the years.  I know I’ll miss her terribly when she moves out, but right now I’m caught up in her excitement. And I’m thinking that’s just the way it should be.

Photo courtesy of Studio7Designs
It’s easy to get caught up in the big picture: dreams, goals, and wishes of “someday.” For writers it’s easy to focus on getting published, landing an agent, or finishing that book. The struggle is not to forget how much potential each day holds on its own, as we travel in the direction of those goals. 

I just started reading Hope Will Find YouMy Search for the Wisdom to Stop Waiting and Start Living by Naomi Levy. In it, the author addresses how common it is to get stuck in holding patterns as we wait for life to begin: when we get that house, that contract, that new car. “The reality is, every life just as it is right now has its own unique power and lesson to teach. Every day has its story. Every dream holds a lesson.”

Photo Courtesy of Studio7Designs
I know there are big changes ahead in the upcoming months, so my goal for right now is to enjoy every moment, to hold onto the days and to make sure I don’t just go through the motions. Today is exciting, rewarding, full of hope and opportunity. I’ll worry about tomorrow when it gets here.

Do you ever have to remind yourself to make the most of each day?


  1. Some days we forget to live in the moment, or are forgotten by it. As Scarlet said, “tomorrow is another day.”

  2. Very happy for your daughter! I am envious of her too as I haven't bought a house yet. Been too busy travelling and crap! ;)

    Yes, sometimes I do feel like time is rushing by too fast!

  3. Great post! This really hits home for me because I have a tendency to keep looking forward. I have to remember to enjoy every step along the way. When it comes to drafting a manuscript, I celebrate every 10K. It makes the process more enjoyable. But when I got an offer from my agent, I stressed for days while I waited for the other agents with fulls to get back to me. I should've been elated. But I stressed, looking forward to the actual signing before I celebrated. Now I'm trying to enjoy every step along the way.

    Congrats to your daughter!

  4. What a lovely post. My husband and I were just talking about this last night ... I think especially for women, dreams get put on hold or sometimes get completely subsumed by the responsibilities of child-care, household work and the like. This is why I do believe it is so important to take joy in the dailiness of life, of doing the next right thing, whatever it may be.

    You must be so proud of your daughter, growing up and becoming independent. Getting your own home is a milestone.


  5. Congratulations to your daughter. And part of the beauty of her accomplishment is that your relationship can grow in new ways and deepen as you help her set up her home, decorate, make it her own. Enjoy!

  6. I guess the short answer is YES. I can't do anything about the past. The future isn't here and it's certainly nothing I can control. The only thing I have is the moment, and if I don't enjoy it I'm missing out on a chunk of my life.

    Loved your post and appreciated your comment about my book, Sliding on the Edge. Thanks for both.

    Hope you have a joyous holiday filled with gratitude for each moment you share with family and friends.

  7. I think this is the hardest of times for mothers. My children have left home and I find it difficult to stay focussed on living in the moment and making the most of the present. I want things to be right for them and yet I selfishly want them back in my nest again. Good luck to your daughter and good luck to you. It's the hardest of times.

  8. What a wonderful reminder to stay in touch with what matters. It is so easy to get caught up in rushing from one thing to the next. I often say I feel like I'm always playing catch-up and never actually caught up, never mind ahead of the game. But I do enjoy what I do.

    Congratulations to your daughter - so exciting! And even though she'll be living in her own house, I'm sure you'll still find ways to see each other and your closeness will remain strong.

  9. It's a constant reminder. I'm going to check out the book you mentioned, Ruth. Need more hope and reminders this week. =)

  10. This is a wonderful post and I am glad that you are smart enough to be excited with your daughter and celebrate this big step in her life. That is what it's all about. It really is so important to enjoy the journey and not just focus on your end result/goal. Thanks for the reminder today. I think we all need a reminder for this... often. :)

  11. Yes, I do have to remind myself to enjoy each day, that each one is a gift in itself and we're never guaranteed that there will be another. Nice post, Ruth. Yay for your daughter. I bet you're so proud that she's independent. Yes, it's sad when they move out, but she's ready and you've done your job in preparing her for this day, so it's a time for celebrating and looking forward to all the good memories you'll be making in her new home!

  12. Such a relaxing and peaceful blog to read. Your words just flowed. And, I enjoyed the video. Think we'd get along as I sense you are on a journey just by the books you read and comments you make. We only have right now. Even though we feel time speeding up, we only have the moment. Love your posts. Pat

  13. Nice post! Congratulations to your daughter buying her new home! Such a big step. It is good to be reminded that we only have the moment. Thank you for the reminder.

  14. I find that I go in and out of making the most of each day. Currently, I feel like I'm milking life's minutes for all they're worth, but a couple of years ago I felt time slipping through my fingers. For me, all kinds of life factors affect my perspective.

    Best of luck to your daughter, and to you in adjusting to this change.

  15. Mirka - True, true.

    Trisha - Travelling is good, too!

    Kelly - It's hard because stress becomes an automatic response, and being grateful takes conscious effort at times. Glad you noticed and can enjoy those moments in the future.

    Vijaya - I like how you put it - the dailiness of life.

    Joanne - You're right, I'm sure there are a great many new things to look forward to.

    Lee - Happy Thanksgiving wishes to you, as well!

    Rosalind - I'm sorry to hear that it's still difficult for you. There's no doubt about it, change is challenging. May we both find peace in adjusting.

    Susanna - Oh, yes, ahead of the game is out of the question! ;)

    Claudine - I hope you receive all the hope you need - this week and always!

    Abby - We can remind each other! ;)

    Lynn - Yes, I am proud and happy for her and it's probably those two things that will keep me from dwelling on the sadness of her moving out.

    Patricia - I'm so glad you are enjoying my blog. It's so rewarding to connect with others, like yourself, who are on the same journey.

    Maeve - Good to see you here. Thanks for stopping by.

    Anne - Thanks for the well wishes!

  16. I remind myself of that all the time. But it helps to celebrate the small victories on the way to the larger goal.

  17. Congrats to your daughter. :)

    I'm very goal-oriented, so I have to stop myself and live in the now. The now moments are glorious and I need to appreciate them more.

  18. I have to remind myself of this every day, it seems. Excellent post, and congratulations to your daughter on her first house!

  19. These are worthy goals indeed. And an especially important reminder after the rush of NaNoWriMo; it's time to slow down and take time to relish, play, experiment with our writing -- to enjoy the artistry of our endevor rather than just piling up words!