• Eleni Mak

Stopping To Smell The Coffee!

Life is tough enough without adding a husband, kids, career, social life, social media and the list goes on. Half the time I feel like I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Never totally sure of where I'm going and what my purpose is.

I wake up daily (like most moms do) get the kids ready for school, make breakfast, make lunch, decide what I'm making for dinner, hopefully take a sip of coffee and out the door we go.

The 5-minute drive to school is what really sets my day. The vibe ranges from quiet and peaceful to chaotic and crazy. Some mornings we sing and laugh, others we have nice conversations. Some we don't say anything at all (this is when I find myself thinking I'm a bad mother because we are made to feel like we need to be stimulating our children every second of the day) and some days, I'm yelling like a crazed lunatic (again... feeling like a terrible mom).

I drop my kids off and then I have 6.5 hours to get everything "done." My work, the housework, the laundry, the groceries and, the logistics of the rest of the day (who will pick who up and drop off to extra curricular activities). I'm lucky I have a husband that is active with the girls otherwise I think I would actually be a certified lunatic.

The day goes by so quickly that I often don't even stop to take a breath or appreciate the small things. I often don't stop to smell the roses. I love coffee for example. I love the smell and the taste and the way it makes me feel but... I usually don't even enjoy it. Sipping it only because I made it and running out the door without finishing my cup is usually the way I drink my coffee. A few weeks ago I stopped and smelled the coffee while it was brewing, I tasted it while I was drinking it and I enjoyed how it made me feel. It made me feel happy and put a smile on my face. I found that the smile lasted most of the morning and my outlook was a little brighter that day. WOW... all because I smelled my coffee??!?!?! Not exactly... it really was because I slowed down. I allowed myself to live in the moment and appreciate it. I didn't feel guilty about taking a moment for myself and the outcome was incredible for everyone. Our ride to school was fun that day. We talked about the leaves changing colors and how beautiful it was and we laughed at my youngest daughters funny sounds. I love those sounds but I usually don't hear them because I'm too focused on just getting there (checking my e-mail and texts along the way) dropping them off and moving on to the next task.

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We miss so much of our lives everyday simply because we are not present. We carry on like robots without noticing how each event makes us feel or helps us grow. For the last week I have taken a bath with a book and glass of wine every night after my kids go to bed. It has allowed me to slow down and reflect on the day, which is something I never did before unless I was forced to because of some earth shattering circumstance. My point is, don't wait until something bad happens to stop and appreciate your life. Do it because you can. Put the cell phone away for a few hours in the evening. If someone really needs to contact you they will and, unless it's an emergency, it can wait. Enjoy dinner with your family and coffee with friends -- uninterrupted. I know... it's scary. I once couldn't find my cell phone for what felt like days (it was about 3 minutes in total) and I went into a full-blown panic. I have since learned to put it on vibrate and make myself unavailable to anyone other than the people I am physically with. By doing this I have learned how to "smell the coffee" and be totally present and available to whoever it is I'm with at that moment. We give half of ourselves these days. I've people watched at restaurants and it's crazy what you see. One person talking while the other is 'half' listening and 'half' texting a completely different person???? WTF!!!! Is this really what we have come to? Have smart phones and social media really taken over our common sense and replaced it with the inability to fully focus on one thing? Whatever that one thing is, be it listening to a song, walking in the park, listening to a friend, watching your kids play in the park or taking a sip of your coffee. Lets all make a point to be more focused and present in our lives and the people we choose to surround ourselves with. I promise the outcome will include feeling happier, calmer and more self aware!

"Don't wait for the perfect moment....take the moment and make it perfect" ~unknown

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