I've never been very good at living in the moment. I'm always thinking about what happened in the past, or planning for the future. I've improved since meeting my husband, who is more laid-back, much better at appreciating the small things in life, and is always finding something to laugh about. We've rubbed off on each other over the years, and now I'm a better relaxer. But there's nothing that teaches someone about appreciating every minute like having a baby.
You're going to think that I'm saying since babies grow so fast, I've learned that I need to enjoy every milestone, big or small, and all the moments in between. While that's true, I also mean appreciating every minute in the more literal sense. As in, I literally don't know what the next minute will bring. Right now my baby's sleeping soundly- but one minute from now, he could be wailing his head off, and I'll be dropping what I'm doing to go to him. There are things I need and things I want to accomplish in any given day, but I have no idea when the opportunities for each will arise. I will eventually eat lunch, but it might be hours after I first felt hungry. I will find time to write, but I have to wait until he's asleep. Yes, there are a few things under my control- taking a walk with the stroller guarantees at least a short nap time, and putting the baby in my baby-wearing pack means I'll be able to get some household chores done- but anything can get interrupted, at any minute, by the baby's needs, which are currently more important, or at least more urgent, than mine.
What's surprising to me is how well I've adapted to this. It still sometimes disappoints me when I don't get everything accomplished that I'd like. But overall, I'm adjusting well to my days going slower and with much less predictability. For someone who is a major planner, whose favorite pastimes include making lists of goals and things to do, and who has been known to resist major life changes, I'm kind of impressed with my ability to live in a completely foreign way. It's like I've picked up a whole new life-skills set.
At some point, this time will pass, and life will become more scheduled again. Bedtime will be at a set time; meals will be by the clock and not by demand; the baby will be able to communicate his needs with words and not sounds. But I hope when it does that I hold onto the skill of living in the moment. Because as cliche as it sounds, the moment we're in is the only one we're guaranteed to have. That makes me want to love and enjoy life and family as much as I can, with every moment I have.