As I continued to read The Happiness Project, one of the most significant things to catch my eye was the mention of "Mindfulness". The author wrote about driving a car to a destination, and on reaching there, realizing that she had no memory of the route she took to get there. When meeting people for the first time, she didn't have a memory of most details she might have heard about them. And so on. That was my Aha moment! When I used to drive to work everyday, there were days when I would be at my workplace 8 km away with no memory of driving any part of the route. I also have an abysmal memory for names and details, and have to keep asking folks where I might know them from! Putting it down to a bad memory though didn't seem to cut it, as I could remember many other things well enough!
It struck me that this lack of mindfulness is the reason that I sometimes drop things, cut my fingers while chopping veggies, and often feel stressed when I'm doing something. That's because even for the most mundane activity, my mind is still racing on at 100 miles a second thinking of a zillion other things to be done or that I should be doing at that point of time! Do I hear a small voice saying “Get organized!” – yes yes that’s coming too but I get to choose which habit I adopt first ;). So as a small change for February, and hopefully forever after, I have picked to be mindful of whatever I am doing at that moment. I have been trying it already for the last few weeks, and it takes some doing! Especially while chopping veggies, my fingers are very thankful that I have started being more mindful ;).
Parenting is a big part of my life and mindfulness is even more important where the kids are concerned. Giving them my full attention when I am with them is something I have read about in many parenting articles now, as I'm sure you have too ;). I do try very hard to do this, but some chore or deadline always looms large and it is just so easy to listen or respond with half your mind and plan or do something else at the same time. As a part of this habit, of my own Happiness Project you might say, I hereby decide that even if it is just a half hour in a day that I am spending focused time with the kids, it shall be 100% of my attention.
Note: I had heard the term "mindfulness" in the context of a type of meditation or therapy, which is a surefire indication that I might go to sleep in the middle of it. It was such a great coincidence that a friend mentioned this resource on her FB timeline, as I was in the process of writing this post. I am definitely going to check out www.headspace.com as a part of my mindfulness journey.