living in the moment moments

Anyone else have that Timehop app and find that some days you love it, share things from it on Facebook and skip through the rest of your day relishing the nice memories… but other days you curse it silently and wish it had never been born? Some memories we hasten to forget.

Today, as Timeshop has shared with me, is one year exactly since I had a really special time with my Dad that I don’t really need Timehop to remind me about as I shall never forget it. I wrote a moany Facebook status suggesting that there should be some official annual leave from motherhood (I still stand by that though) and a few hours later I received a text from Dad saying ‘I can’t give you leave but I can offer you an evening kayaking on the sea with your Dad’. Yes please! By the time we got on the water it was approximately 8pm and being early September, the light was already starting to dim. So many things about that experience connect me to what my Dad was like and I think that’s why it is such a special memory.

Dad very quickly turned it into an adventure – we were taking a risk as it was getting dark, the tide was turning, and he had his phone in a plastic bag in his pocket!! We joked about hearing the 999 TV show music and typical commentary… “it was just an ordinary early September evening, father and daughter made a last minute decision to take a gentle paddle on the sea, but little did they know it would end in disaster…” It didn’t by the way but it was fun imagining it. Fun Dad.

He asked me what sort of technique he should be using to paddle. I used to row in University and though it’s not quite the same, which he knew, I could still guess as to some useful pointers that he immediately tried to implement. Always learning, humble Dad.

He made it an adventure, but I also sensed that he was aware of our vulnerability as it did really start to get darker and we probably went in way before it was unsafe. Feel-the-fear-but-do-it-anyway Dad.

When we got in Dad and his partner gave me leftover dinner and chatted to me about how I’d been feeling, what might help with regards to diet and lifestyle. It meant a lot to me. Wise and helpful Dad.

Ultimately, the way I most feel loved is to be given time. Undivided attention, and that’s what meant the most. Loves me how I need Dad.

Dad spent the rest of my time there trying to post a photo to Facebook and then updating us every time he got a ‘like’, Not so competent with technology Dad.

I miss it all.

Dad's photo of us on the sea
Dad’s photo of us on the sea

As I have said before I am determined to learn many things from my Dad, but particularly, his ability to really soak in a moment, enjoy great food, rejoice over a beautiful view, celebrate special company, and turn somewhat ordinary events into adventures. I think I will make a regular feature out of posting about my ‘Living in the Moment’ moments.

Here are some from this week:

  •  One night I was woken by my youngest and after settling her I struggled to sleep again. After toying with the idea for a few minutes, weighing up the pros and cons, I got up and went into my son’s room and slid in next to him. He sighed contentedly and shifted over a bit but otherwise didn’t wake and was essentially unaware I was there. I snuggled in and listened to his breathing and enjoyed the moment of just being there and then snuck out again a short while later. It was risky, he could have woken up and cost me more sleep than I bargained for. But, life is short and one day in the future he might, quite rightly, put me in an institute if I deemed it appropriate to try and crawl into his bed.
  • I can’t quite remember what I was doing but I was occupied with some task and stopped for a couple of minutes to just watch my daughter. She was playing with something and I enjoyed her little movements, her messy hair, her mutterings to herself. I took them in and felt a flood of love for her fill me and make me smile.
  • I invited friends round for dinner last minute. My house was in disarray from having had friends and children round that day during which I had made soup for lunch and sugar-free biscuits. I had opened the storage jar I kept the flour in and it went ‘poof’ and the release of pressure sent flour cascading all around me. And on me. But, using my flour laden phone, I sent the message ‘dinner tonight?’. What if I don’t manage to tidy? What if I mess up the meal? i am a reluctant host because I want things to be nice and pleasant (perhaps if I’m honest, I want to impress a bit too in a not so helpful way). But some days I do struggle to think of what I can rustle together for just us let alone another person, it requires energy that more often than I’d like, I don’t have. But anyway, she came, the house was tidy, meal pleasant and I was glad I didn’t overthink it. It was better to have had her company and potentially a bit of a messy house and dodgy dinner than not seen her at all. Life is short.
  • We had two takeaways! WHAAAT? You might be thinking, aghast, if you know about our intention as a family to be sugar-free and to JERF (Just Eat Real Food). But the truth is, I’m living in food freedom people! Most of what I eat is sugar-free, a large amount of what I eat is clean. But I’m on a journey with it and gradually learning how to make a dream a reality. I bought this postcard the week after Dad died and plan on putting it up in my kitchen…

Postcard

It’s not bad if food makes you happy, yes there can be many issues with food and overeating, or under-eating, but in our diet-crazy culture we can forget that it is actually ok to enjoy food. Takeaways are rarer than they used to be and we might approach them differently when we do have them, but ultimately, I enjoy the moment and don’t beat myself up. I could write an essay about the delightful lamb shank curry I had on our anniversary. Oh my, it’s lunch time and I’m salivating. But I think I’ll have a salad. Yes, really! I used to say it was rabbit food but now my tastebuds have changed and I find them delicious and interesting and my body craves vegetables. Life is short, so I want to eat well and be firing on all cylinders to get the most out of it. I’m enjoying feeling good, not getting taken out completely by a virus (like I’ve had this week), being less grumpy and having much less eczema – to name a few of the benefits. Having said that, life is short so I want to enjoy enjoy enjoy! I don’t actually want much sugary food so it’s fairly easy to do that sensibly and buying treats doesn’t have to mean cake or ice cream. This week it has been sugar-free biscuits, no-refined-sugar raw chocolate brownies, a nice coffee, a cheese straw. And gin tonight.

Off I go to prepare my rabbit food and cauliflower pizza bases for dinner… before going out with my friend and eating a BIG FAT SCONE (with no jam). I’ll leave you with some of the sugar-free or low sugar treats I’ve enjoyed in recent months.

Chocolate milkshake
Chocolate milkshake
Chocolate cheesecake
Chocolate cheesecake
Strawberry almond cake (excuse poor quality photo)
Strawberry almond cake (excuse poor quality photo)

I would love to hear of any ‘living in the moment’ moments you’ve had this week and if you’d like any recipes, please comment on here not Facebook pretty please. 

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4 comments

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  1. the messy mama

    We made the decision to go swimming after packing down the tent on Tuesday, and I spent a long time just watching my littlest play in the water with the toys and things, just watching his fascination with everything being so much more simply because he was in water!
    My eldest loved being in the water so much that even though he was shaking from cold and could barely get a coherant sentence out he still wanted to go round the rapids and down the big water slide one more time before we got out 🙂 happy moments. So glad we said yes to the swimming request!

    Like

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