Sometimes I have to pinch myself! I feel so blessed to get paid to do what I have always loved doing! That gift, however, does not come for free. I struggled to find a healthy balance between work, family and health. For years I felt disconnected from the world around me as my mind was always so occupied with work and mommy chores.
My friend knew I had this dilemma and recommended Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. I downloaded the audio version so I could listen to it on my walks. I have to admit to walking and crying a few times as some of his words really hit home!
Tolle says, “Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now!”
Wow! That’s so sad! I want to be more present but clearly Tolle has not seen my “to do” list! How can I be “fully present” when I am caring for three young kids, a mother with Alzheimer’s who lives with me, a home, two dogs, three cats and running a busy portrait photography business? The “to do” list in my head is endless and never shuts off.
It dawned on me that I create that “to do” list, and it’s up to me to shorten it!
We all know the years with our children really are precious and fleeting. I am also painfully aware of the fragility of my own mother’s condition as I watch her slowly slip into the grips of Alzheimer’s, especially since recently losing her older sister to it as well. I can’t help but wonder if I’m next and ponder the idea that nobody is promised tomorrow.
I decided that changes needed to be made before it was too late. Here are some of the steps I have taken so far–with more to come!
If you are like me and are concerned that you are not living in the moment, or that your life is out of balance, think about what you can do to change things for you and your family. Every little bit counts!
Whether you are a stay at home mom or work outside of the home, find ways to be present when you can. Put down your iPhone, iPad and computers. Cut back on volunteer activities. Take care of your health (put on your oxygen mask first) so you are better able to care for your family. Be true to yourself and stop trying to be everything to all people.
In honor of Mother’s Day, enjoy these images and feel the joy of these moms being present and in the moment with their children–a gift for them both!
Happy Mother’s Day!
Andrea Topalian is the contributing photographer for GOOD Morning Wilton. Her successful, Wilton-based photography business is Moments by Andrea Photography, which has set the bar for telling amazing, emotional stories through portrait and family photography. All photos courtesy Moments by Andrea Photography/Andrea Topalian.