So I’m still working on the mindfulness thing…but sometimes it can be hard to be “present” but not mired down or overwhelmed by the present. How to get some quick perspective?
Perspective: (Merriam Webster definition #4) “the appearance to the eye of objects in respect to their relative distance and positions.”
So take the “eye” and make it the “mind’s eye.” Then put on virtual Seven League Boots and do a little time travel with the “Rule of Sevens.”
Ask yourself: Will this matter in seven minutes? (Admittedly, the answer to that is usually, YES!) Maybe you should just skip to whether this will matter in seven hours? Seven days? Seven months? How about seven years?
My youngest sister is twelve years younger than I am. When she was seven years old, she loved to play “How Old Will You Be When I’m Your Age?” I have to say, when you count through your life in twelves, you hit the end alarmingly quickly, even if you’re starting at the fresh young age of nineteen. Even if you stick with sevens, things go by at warp speed. Seven years ago, my daughter had just been born. Seven years before that I was happily engaged, unhappily struggling in graduate school, and unable to see even seven months ahead. And so forth.
Now my daughter is seven and so much about her reminds me of that time with my youngest sister. In fact, if I close my eyes, I can still see exactly the way my room looked, still feel the top of my sister’s head under my chin as she sat on my lap to watch “Animaniacs,” still remember being who I was that summer. When I think about my amazing sister today (mother of my two-year-old goddaughter and pregnant with her second daughter, innovative problem solver, advocate for children with disabilities and co-founder of Best Behavior, LLC), it’s incredible. And when I look at myself in that picture, I wish I could say, “Hey, it’s all going to be all right. More than all right. Everything’s going to be more amazing than you could even imagine.”
So yeah, there are going to be tons of things that are stressful in the present moment. The cost of fixing our cracked driveway (thank you, HOA), the growing pains our children experience, the infinite number of items on the “to-do” list and the decidedly finite number of hours in the day. But taking a few steps backward by sevens and a few steps forward can make coming back to the present moment exciting. Suddenly I can see beyond the static and be thankful for the sweetness of the things that matter.