For December I am focused on many projects in my personal and professional life. But my December goal is not a part of this long to-do list. There are no boxes to check off. It is a process goal not a project goal, and that is important to remember as I gauge my progress. My December goal is to be present.
I was inspired by Lara Casey's #Present December. This is such a simple concept, but a big one, with a potential to have deep impact in my daily life.
I am a project person, and I mostly work in large blocks of time on the things I have to do. For example, instead of breaking a research paper assignment into four or five small sessions I try to do it all in eight or nine or ten hours. If I am working on a batch of cards, I want to work on them all day, on my day off, instead of an hour here and hour there. I want the project to be finished once I start it. I get really caught up in projects, and become incredibly focused. It's a little bit unrealistic, but, that is my current modus operandi.
And here is why Present December is so important to me, and when it really hit home. Yesterday I broke ground on my wedding album (A big December project for me!). While I was beginning to work on it, hunched over my computer with a mug of coffee in hand, cautiously examining which of the hundreds of photos were going to make the cut, my husband walked in the door after a day of work and wanted to talk, asking me about my day, and telling me about his. And it was obvious that I was only half listening. I was cropping, selecting and finding the perfect photo placement on the pages. It was an 'Omar please be quiet, I'm trying to capture the joy of our wedding and marriage in this page placement!'....The irony.
THIS is what I want to work on. Being present and focused on the people I am with. Setting down my devices and vices more than normal and just BEING where I am. I've spent more time instagramming my pretty Christmas tree than actually sitting in my quiet living room just soaking in the joy of the season, and the way the warm lights add a soft comforting glow to everything around them.
I'll be checking in as the month goes on. I think this is one of those things that we never truly perfect, like being patient, showing more grace, and timing the oven and ingredients just so, in order to bake that delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe so the centers are soft and the edges are crisp. But we can do our best, and work toward it anyway, as we move forward on this long journey to attain grace instead of perfection.
(photo from my tree)