Twenty years ago, I huddled around an empty chocolate tin. I had three kids and a husband. It was New Year’s Eve in Y2K (the year 2000). We decided to make a time capsule. We would open it in 2020. Back then, 2020 felt like eons away. On New Year’s Day of this year, that same family, now with four kids, opened that time capsule. I can only remember one tiny item we placed inside that chocolate tin of hopes, dreams, and remembrances. It was a tiny diaper for the now 22-year-old! She was very impressed by it.
Watching my children become adults has been the toughest time of my life. (I could now, like many of you, fill the immensity of space with the drama of my emerging adults. It will suffice to say I stand in solidarity with all parents experiencing this phenomenon called “adulting.”) I loved being a mother to my little munchkins. Sure enough, however, the day came when they just didn’t need me in the same ways. My brain knew that was normal, but my heart took a hit. I still have not fully recovered, nevertheless, I have learned that neither dwelling in the past nor fearing the future will help me enjoy today.
My counselor asked me one day, “What about right now?” My anxiety over what I had perceived as lost and what more I might lose was robbing me of today. I started to think about “right now.” When I feel my heart rate increase and my mood dip, I just stop. I think about the moment:
- What is true and real about this very minute?
- Am I warm?
- Am I in a home?
- Do I have someone next to me who loves me?
- Do I have change in my pocket?
- Am I employed?
- Is there a sunset nearby?
- Is there a friend who needs me?
Is there someone who filled a small portion of my emptiness today? This list can go on for miles. What is your right now?
Our “right now” moments add up to a healthy portion of our lives. Depression and anxiety like to take over and make a person completely forget the moment. I recommend changing a few routine moments to help your awakening to the now. Changing the flavor of your toothpaste will make you more aware of how wonderful it feels to have a clean, fresh mouth after brushing. Instead of rushing through your shower, take just two of those minutes to feel the water fall down your back. Do you feel the warmth of the water spread over you? Can you feel the smoothness of your skin underneath the suds of your soap? Do you smell the scent of your soap? When you drive, look for a specific color. What do you see that is red? Blue? Yellow?
We all have made mistakes that haunt us from our past. We all have people who have hurt us and failed us. We all will make more mistakes in the future. This is a guarantee. We also have this moment, this “right now.” I encourage you to live and breathe and feel your right now, even if it is painful. That pain is making way for new joy. Just don’t forget to make a little room for your “right now.” Let now sit beside you, and make itself at home. For those of you who may be careworn, I leave you this poem:
“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
If you are struggling with depression or anxiety, be sure to talk to your provider. Do you need help making an appointment? Call Lovelace Care Concierge at 505.727.2727.
This blog submitted by Catherine Roth, Certified Community Health Worker for Lovelace Labor of Love