4 Ways I Live Intentionally
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I love being a mother. I never felt maternal toward anything besides my dog until I was in my late 20s. I didn’t think I wanted a child until I was in my late 20s. Then I wasn’t even prepared for how I felt when I saw my son for the first time or, even before that, felt him kick for the first time, saw his proof in the very first ultrasound, saw the two lines. It was like WHAM you are forever and completely changed.
I want to soak up every moment. I want to be Max’s best friend. I live for the times he’s around me and am disappointed when he’s not. He surrounds me with a special kind of love and appreciation that I’ve never, ever known. Max may only be less than a year old, but I want him to feel that appreciation. Also, I want him to feel like mom is relaxed and fun and happy all the time so I’ve been intentional with my time and where I put my energy.
I put most of my energy into my household (maintaining it and the people in the house) and myself – those are the things that make me happy. I live intentionally, making the time for those things I value most. I value relaxation, a good book, playing with my son, taking time for me. Here’s what I do, and what you can do too, to live intentionally and make sure you are in the moment.
READ CHILDREN’S BOOKS
My co-worker gave me this wonderful idea. We are reading through all the Newbery Award winners. The Newbery Medal is given once a year (since the early 1920’s!) to a children’s book that is considered to have contributed greatly to American literature for children. Think: The Giver and Island of the Blue Dolphins, which are two of my favorites.
Sometimes I read these books to Max, but I’m really reading them for me. I love the idea of keeping a childish mind, letting my imagination wander, be impressed by childhood explorations and stories all over again.
TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
Max has been going to sleep around 7pm now, just in time for me to sit on our porch with a mug of tea and enjoy the golden hour when light is falling and everything just seems subdued. It’s a great relaxation spot. I’m an avid reader, but sometimes I won’t even take my book out there. I’ll just sit on my porch chair, take in the quiet, and reflect on the day and everything in my life that I appreciate whole-heartedly.
Lately I’ve been loving the Bigelow Tea I purchased from Publix. Their new Benefits line is designed to support everyday wellness, exactly what I want and need. I recently tried the Balance flavor which is a cinnamon and blackberry herbal tea. It’s so great! It wasn’t overly sweet and it wasn’t too dry, it was just this perfect balance of flavors. Now I know where the name came from!
It’s also important to be intentional with what you put in your body. The Bigelow Benefits tea line is non-GMO, all natural, gluten-free, blended and produced in the USA. Along with the relaxation element, I feel good about what I’m putting into my body.
I also like to walk the neighborhood as often as possible with Max. We go on stroller rides, especially when the weather is beautiful.
CHERISH CUDDLE TIME
As much as I love every moment spent with Max, I’ve been guilty of being on my phone too much at times. It’s time to put away the phone and spend time, without distractions, with my boy. I even invested in an Apple Watch that only gives me notifications of text messages and phone calls so I can be away from social media and the insane draw to just scroll and scroll through Facebook out of habit.
Lately Max, for as much as he’s on the go with his crawling and kinda, sorta walking, still likes to cuddle right after he’s woken up from his nap. It’s the sweetest thing and I just let him go for it for as long as he’d like. He’ll lay on me in the quiet, or with Baby Mozart playing softly on YouTube (via our TV, not our phone) and I take in every minute. I don’t miss my electronics. I can still keep up with everybody and step back from being glued to my phone a little more.
TEACH AND LEARN
Max has been working on a number of things lately like building blocks, stacking other items, “talking” on the phone, and “reading” which is basically him just sitting quietly while I read and he lifts up flaps and turns the pages. I like teaching him how to make different sounds and blow kisses and wave, but in the process I’m finding that I’m learning too.
I’m learning patience and how to view the world from a soon-to-be toddler’s eyes. What bright colors! How exciting those books are that make animal noises! I sit back and watch him explore new things, understanding how they work and trying to replicate my process. It’s a steady reminder to never give up, to try all the time, to be excited about the little things.
It’s everything I want for our life.
How do you live intentionally? Let me know!