When my daughter was born I took scores of pictures. Daily. I wanted to capture every expression, every movement, and every new development. In those early weeks I spent entire mornings creating a "photo of the day" to share with friends and family. Like most infants, our girl slept much and moved little, which made it easy to document every tiny shift.
As she began to move more and sleep less, my hands and mind became busier, and I allowed the pendulum to swing high in the opposite direction. The babe entered the world of music classes, park outings, and play dates around the same time that I transitioned out of my former job and into a new venture that didn't require 24/7 email monitoring and response. Feeling doubly liberated, we often ventured out of the house leaving my phone - and by extension the camera - at home.
I was excited about experiencing life alongside her and adamant about not wasting important moments trapped behind the viewfinder. Increasingly aware of how quickly time was passing, I was eager to focus both hands and my full attention on our adventures.
But as time passed and our days became more full, they began to run together. I caught myself making mental notes of funny observations to share with family and friends - only to forget the details before the day was through.
I was trapped in the tension between two fears: the fear of missing out and the fear of forgetting. I struggled with whether I should pause to memorialize a memory or focus on being fully present in the moment. Should I stop to take a picture, or race her across the field? Should I record a video of her impromptu ukelele concert or grab a microphone and sing along? Meanwhile, I was losing precious moments to unnecessary internal arguments that were preventing me from being the mindful mama I want to be.
We all find ourselves caught between competing fears from time to time. Perhaps you debate whether to (re)join the dating scene, thereby risking heartbreak - or embrace single life and possibly end up without a life partner. Maybe you are torn between remaining in a job that is secure but uninspiring or accepting the uncertain financial future that accompanies pursuing a passion.
Whatever inner battles you may face, one thing is certain: getting caught up in anxiety about what you should do isn't helpful. Often what we need most is to pause and take a deep breath. Only then can we clearly assess our options and make a bold choice based on facts not fears.
Are you trapped between fears (real or imagined)? Try setting aside judgment about what you should do, tune in to your heart, and move forward with confidence.
Thank you for visiting the Starting Over blog. Stop by anytime for a dose of inspiration, tools to help you achieve your goals, and a community of fellow travelers. I hope to see you often!