How’s your attention span?
When someone asks you about your weekend, what do you say?
Admittedly, my attention span is not that great. Once something happens Monday morning, my weekend goes straight out of my head… much like the location of my phone, my keys, and those pens I swore I bought at Target.
So, when Mary Oliver reminds me that to pay attention is my endless and proper work – I definitely get all the shame feelings because… well, I do the best I can.
I think that writing things down often helps me capture some moments though. For instance, I just had an absolutely beautiful moment when I went to wake my twins up this morning… so maybe I should capture it now before it’s gone and replaced by the rest of the Monday morning hustle.
The twins were tasked with cleaning up their room yesterday. Admittedly, they have to do this a lot. I feel for them because that was always my never ending task as a kid. I’d clean up, and suddenly it’d just be messy again. It felt almost like magic! But still, it has to be done, and they are fairly good sports about it.
I guess in the process of cleaning all the remnants of the past week’s artistic pursuits, they decided to display their best work on a cord across their curtains. One twin decided to display a self portrait under which he had written that he was quite good at art. In contrast, the other twin put up two 3-D objects he made – a cube and an apple – as well as an apple painting that was the product of a class experiment on apples.
Looking at their display this morning gave me a glimpse into how they view themselves right now.
And it appears they are happy and content with who they are… and not afraid to show it.
In the end, I’ll probably forget the display. They’ll forget it too when their room magically turns into an epic mess in the next 24 hours.
But I will remember the feeling of seeing their sense of self awareness and budding self confidence on display with no shame in sight.
And maybe that’s in essence the proper work -to pay attention to the feelings that are stirred inside of each of us when we encounter one another and let them be our guide.