I’ll Live in the Moment in a Moment

Baby Boomers will likely remember when the Beatles met the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and subsequently became involved in Transcendental Medication. It was 1967. I was 13, going on 14, and had been one of those kids who watched the Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan show and my life was never the same. I purchased every one of their albums up to and until Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The music took a turn that made my 13-year-old self a bit uncomfortable. I listened to more Top 40 songs, like Happy Together by the Turtles and Carrie Anne by the Hollies.

I’m not reluctant to tell you now that in hindsight, a few of the songs on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band are absolute classics that I really love. Furthermore, I got back on the Beatle bandwagon and purchased (and loved) the White Album in 1968.

But being a straight-laced Catholic schoolgirl, I was wary of the whole Transcendental Meditation thing. I knew people who practiced meditation, and they neither got struck down by God nor embraced by the devil. But I just continued to pray in the more traditional way.

In hindsight, my reluctance was probably at least in part because I couldn’t imagine sitting still and focusing on a single word for 20 minutes twice a day. Yoiks. I hurried through my daily prayers as it was. But I was intrigued nonetheless.

A few years later, the adult Kris learned that the Catholic Church had (and still has) something called centering prayer. Centering prayer is basically meditation in which your focus is a relationship with God. I’m not going to try and explain it, because the truth is, though I took a class and read some books on centering prayer, it never really worked for me. Because see above. I can’t focus on anything for 20 minutes. I tried. I selected my meditation word and tried sitting quietly, focusing on that word, waiting for God to talk to me. I’m sure he tried, but I wasn’t hearing him, because my mind would wander. I would be concentrating on my word, and then a work issue would creep into my thoughts. I would push that thought away and focus once again. Pretty soon, I was planning what to make for dinner. It felt like my efforts were futile.

I mentioned this to a friend of mine who is a devout Catholic and yet seriously into centering prayer. She told me a wandering mind is very common in meditation. When your mind begins to wander, don’t get mad at yourself, she told me; just come back and refocus on your meditation word.

I gave up, and haven’t thought much about meditation since that time. But an online publication I get from my retirement association called The Dime had an article recently on something called Mindfulness. It’s the art of being rooted in the moment. It apparently is modeled after meditation, but just as I was about to delete the article (because meditation and me don’t play well together) I saw that the idea of Mindfulness is more about being in the moment than actual meditation. There is no need to sit in a yoga position and say ommmmm to simply live a moment at a time and notice the things around you.

I have been working on the notion of being in the moment a bit since reading that article, partly because it is consistent with the message of a bible study DVD that I recently watched from one of my favorite bloggers. But it’s hard. It’s really, really hard. I am one of those people who can drive from Point A to Point C and realize suddenly that I missed all of Point B along the way. I think, however, that Christmastime is a good time to really focus on this notion of Mindfulness. It’s way too easy to get caught up in the shopping and the wanting and needing and the desire to make one’s house perfect and ensure that every one of the grandkids is thrilled with their gifts, all the while making Christmas cookies and entertaining the neighbors.

One suggestion was to try to find five new things about your spouse or roommate. I’m working on it, but it’s a real challenge. You learn a lot about your spouse after 25 years of marriage…..

One thing I learned about myself as I wrote this post is that it’s really hard to type meditation instead of medication. Another sign of growing old, perhaps.

This post linked to the GRAND Social

Thursday Thoughts

Beat Bugs
635906197665478838-beat-bugs
So, one day two weeks ago or so, Court dropped the kids off to stay with me for a bit. “Hey Mylee,” he said. “Tell Nana what your favorite song is now.” Without even looking up from her legos, Mylee told me her favorite song is Help. Now, that caught me off guard. Not because I don’t like that song; in fact, it’s one of my favorite Beatles songs. But I couldn’t imagine how Mylee had become acquainted with it. Well, it turns out there is a show, now appearing on Netflix, called Beat Bugs. The program, starring cheerful computer animated insects, features songs written by the Beatles, with appropriate storylines surrounding the songs. For example, the episode featuring Help is about one of the characters needing his friends’ help to get out of a jam jar in which he fell. When the bugs can’t figure out where to play, they sing Come Together. You get the point. Mylee is constantly surprised that I know the words to every song. I’m equally surprised to hear her singing along with Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds. I can’t wait for season 2. It’s a great way to get the theme from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse out of my mind, even if the bugs are annoying.

Can You Hear Me Now?
In a not-very-shocking turn of events, 2-year-old Cole has his own iPhone. Oh, it’s just a cast-off phone from one of his parents, for which he mostly watches You Tube Kids. Still, he knows how to use it like a pro. When I was getting the kids’ stuff ready to take to my house last week for the four-day sleepover, I placed his phone, along with the girls’ iPads, into their suitcase. A bit later, when I was getting ready to close the suitcase, I realized the phone was nowhere to be found. Knowing that four days without his iPhone would be, well, troublesome, I began looking frantically for the phone. Under furniture, in the garbage can, in the bedsheets. It was nowhere to be found. Finally, when I was seriously about to give up, I opened up one of Cole’s dresser drawers and there it was……

phone-amongst-cole-shoes

I placed the phone in the suitcase and just as I was getting ready to close it, my cell phone rang. I spoke to my sister for maybe 10 minutes, and then closed up the suitcase and Cole and I headed over to my house, making a quick stop at Walmart on the way. When I unpacked the suitcase, the phone was nowhere to be found. I began to second-guess myself. Did I really put it in the suitcase or did I lay it on the counter at their house? I couldn’t remember. So I drove back to their house to see if it was on the counter. Nope. I began searching once again. I even made a trip to Walmart to see if somehow I had tossed the phone into my front seat and it had fallen out in the Walmart parking lot. Nope. In desperation, I returned to Cole’s house to take one more look. I was about to give up when a thought crept into my mind. I opened the same drawer in which he had put the phone earlier that day and, yes, you guessed it….there it was. It’s apparently where he thinks it belongs.

Back to School
And because I simply can’t resist, here are my grands on their respective first days of the 2016/2017 school year….

first-day-of-school-2016

Slimy
Finally, I mentioned that we made homemade slime this past weekend, and a few people asked for the recipe. Here it is…

DIY Slime
slime
In a bowl, mix a 4-oz. bottle of Elmer’s glue with a half a cup of water. Add food coloring if you want colored slime (and who doesn’t?). In a second bowl, mix one teaspoon Borax with 1 c. water until the Borax dissolves. Add the glue mixture to the Borax mixture and stir together. When the slime begins to take shape, use your hands to knead it until it loses its stickiness. Pour out any excess water. Have fun!

Ciao.