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Being Content in the Now

What would it take for you to put down your smartphone? For me, it was the realization that I was missing out on the most important thing in life- making memories with my daughter.

When Lilly was a newborn, I remember thinking, I can't wait til she's three months old- life will be easy then. At three months I said, I can't wait til she's six months- that's the fun age! Then I looked forward to when she could walk- that will really be a turning point!

And then talking. And so on and so forth. I feel like I'm always rushing to the next step, always looking toward the next milestone. But am I missing out on enjoying what's right in front of me?

My current fantasy involves having three children, all over the age of 6- then, I have decided, my life will be good. But isn't it good now? I feel horrible always wanting the future to come quicker. Not to go all Eckhart Tolle on you, but I think to fully enjoy life you have to be "present" for it. And I certainly don't feel that I am.

For one thing, I have a serious iPhone addiction. It comes with me everywhere. No wonder my daughter also wants to carry hers (my old one) around all day. Do I need to check Facebook, Twitter, my email and texts every five minutes? Of course not. This is an issue that has been bothering me for awhile and then yesterday, BOOM, an interesting link appeared in my Facebook newsfeed, which of course I was checking on my phone when I should have been enjoying lunch with Lilly. But no, I had to have my phone on the table right in front of me. I guess I tell myself, she is so little, it doesn't matter.

Anyway, the link was to a blog post titled, "How to Miss a Childhood" (thank you for sharing, Julia) and wow, was reading that a wake-up call! I urge everyone to check it out. It brought tears to my eyes thinking about how often I am playing with my phone instead of playing with my daughter. How she probably thinks that my phone is the most important thing to me, because I literally carry it from room to room with me. To her, that is normal, because that is all she knows. But that's not what I want her to think is normal or right.

I want her to only think about my phone when it rings and I have to go pick it up. Not to have it be a constant presence in her life. I want her to look up at me when we are at her art table together and see my eyes looking back at her, not me looking down at something on my phone. Most of all, I want to stop feeling that NEED to be connected to everything and everyone 24 hours a day.

I'm not saying I want to give up Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc. I'm just saying that I need to start appreciating how lucky I am to have this time to spend each day with my daughter. Not everyone has that. And for me, the key to being present in the moment is just to pay attention to what is around me. I don't want to look back years later and feel like I missed out on these great toddler moments of Lilly's, just because I was distracted. Nor do I want her to be missing out on the best of me.

So I will apologize in advance for not responding to texts/emails/Facebook posts as promptly as I usually do...I'll be busy playing with my daughter.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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