staying in the present; being mindful; being in the here and now - all ways of saying the same thing: this moment is all we have for certain, the rest remains unknown.
I sat in the garden alongside Finka this morning, she curled up under the seat cover that I place there to avoid the inevitable cat hairs on the fabric because that is how she prefers it; me with my latte ( treat ) and Patti Digh in hand, reading about the advice various blog readers ( of Patti's blog ) had given their 17 year old children when leaving for college etc. " What I wish for you: simple wisdom for a happy life" its called. A book readable in one sitting, under an hour, satisfying and inspiring. It took me back to a car journey with my daughter when she was about 15. She asked me if it mattered that she was not good enough to go to university and become a lawyer like her friend, or something high powered and important like others were aspiring to at her International School. She was worrying about not passing her exams because she is Dyslexic and that I would be disappointed in her. My answer was that I was immensely proud of her, and that all I hoped for her was that she would be happy in life, doing what she wanted to do, being who she was, able to live an independent life for herself, enjoying the ride.
My daughter is now 24. She chose her own pathway through education, working during the day and learning at night to become the teacher she has always been. Working with those who find it difficult to learn; to read or write, to complete forms for job interviews, who were expelled from school due to challenging behaviours or problems, and who is currently teaching Life Skills to young homeless people for a charitable organisation in the Midlands. She is never going to be ' in it for the money '
( thank goodness ) or wealthy in terms of material things but she is rich beyond measure because she is following her bliss, and being all that she can - with idiosyncrasies galore!!! All of which makes her who she is - special to me and many others.
What Patti talks about through her book is her own path of acceptance of not being her child and her child not being her. Becci and I differ in many ways but we share so many more similarities than I dare to think about!! We understand one another but know that the one is not the other, and that right from her birth, she was uniquely her. Our wisdom and experience in our own lives cannot always be passed on to our children when we want - only when they are open to receive it from us. I can put the protective cover on the seat outside because it saves on cat hairs; Finka just loves snuggling under covers so she interprets it as being for her delight and pleasure - who is to say the one or the other is right?! Just being ourselves is the hardest task in the world when we are faced with so much criticism and obstacles and decisions and heartache. But even harder for me, is learning to live in this moment, not worrying about the future that may or may not happen. Enjoying what I have right now because that is the reality of my life. Loving what I have not yearning for what I hope to possess. Making my surroundings loving and inviting and safe and happy, not coveting more. Cooking those pancakes this morning for our more than capable son who stood there telling me he was hungry whilst I knew he was really asking me to make him some food instead of him raiding the fridge! Doing something selflessly for others every day - I think that matters to me a great deal. If that is something my children can learn from me, then they will be wise enough for their slice of this world.