I came across the following entry on the On Being Blog:
and it was timely in that i had the following experience recently, on a shabbat (sabbath) morning. just as an introduction, before we got the kids, we were fairly observant of the Jewish sabbath/shabbat, always home for dinner (trying to start before sundown, but tough in the winter) and going to services at our synagogue on saturday morning, but then shabbat would tend to peter out in our home around 2-3pm in the afternoon on saturday. with the addition of two small kids in the house, we basically decided “Do it 100% or don’t do it at all”, so now shabbat lasts until after sundown on Saturday – no phones, no TV, no radio, no computer. It’s been interesting, and, on the whole, really GOOD. So, what follows is the comment I posted in response to the blog entry on the On Being Blog:
One of the pleasures of being Sabbath/Shabbat observant (which I’m really only partially so), is regularly indulging in this kind of timelessness. On Friday evenings, I remove my watch, and set aside my cell phone, and try to live in the moment, not watching the clock, not check, not rushing – just letting myself go with the flow of life.
I had a similar experience to the one described by Ms Elliot two weeks ago, walking home from the synagogue on Saturday morning with a 3-yr-old toddler- he was very crabby, hadn’t had enough sleep over the last 24 hours, and was on the edge of a temper tantrum. My husband and older son wanted to go ahead, so I said “Go on, we’ll catch up”…Toddler and I spent the next hour+ (i have no idea how long, as i didn’t have a timepiece!!) we looked at things along the path, we waved at cars going by (he gestured and yelled to them “Stop!”, and laughed when they went by without even slowing down), we also have a bridge over a creek to cross, and he threw leaves, and twigs on the upstream side, and then ran to the downstream side to watch them float away. I was able to give him the time and space to be himself, and he never even came close to the tantrum I was dreading. When we got home, he was so exhausted by the walk, and his baseline fatigue that he fell into a 2+ hour nap, and we all woke up refreshed, and happy. What a great day!
Try taking off the watch, putting down the cellphone/PDA, and see what happens when you really take time to be “in the moment”.