When I take my breaks to pump milk for my son at work, I'm reading Momfulness: Mothering with Mindfulness, Compassion and Grace by Denise Roy. (Any opportunity to read!) I've just started it and so far I'm not rushing it, unlike my normal breakneck gobbling reading pace. It's lovely - centering, quiet, wise. I need a centering voice in my head these days. I'm all over the place all the time, a million pieces of me scattered here and there. Parts of me at work, parts of me with my husband, whom I feel like I rarely see, parts of me playing on the floor with my son. An endless calendar and to-do list in my head, nagging me about my yard full of weeds, my unmopped floor, the cobwebs multiplying on the ceiling, the grocery list, the laundry, the friends I haven't called or seen in weeks. One of our cars needs major repairs, more than the car is worth, so we're in the hunt for a new one - an exciting prospect but tiring as well.
It never ends. Life doesn't stop. Things just keep piling up, and this is how it has always been, but with an eight month old, it feels like a very heavy load. Sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed.
Enter Momfulness. Today I read a passage on Presence, reminding me to be in the moment. It contains a short meditation you can do anywhere at any time, short enough to memorize or post on a small card somewhere in sight. It's a meditation from Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh:
Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment
I know that this is a wonderful moment.
I sat there in the storage room, breast pump whirring away, and closed my eyes. Breathe in. Breathe out. This is the only moment. I am making milk to feed my son. I am lucky to have a place and time to do this at work. So many women do not have a supportive pro-breastfeeding workplaces. I am lucky to have a job. I am lucky to have this good quality pump. I am lucky to have a son.
Roy says that not every moment is a wonderful moment, but it's the only moment. You can switch out the words if you need to. But in this moment of quiet and relative solitude, there is much wonder.