I was watching my baby this morning and thinking about how much I have learned from him. Maybe learning isn’t the right word. Maybe reevaluating is a better term. Watching Greyson, I realize that in my time on this planet as an adult, I’ve gotten some of my priorities out of order.
For example, Greyson stretches every morning. He wakes up and sticks his hands next to his ears, arms bent at the elbows, and slowly, slowly pushes his hands above his head. It probably takes him 30 seconds to complete the stretch. It looks wonderful. Then, he flips over in his crib and does a yoga up-dog for another 30 seconds. Fantastic. When I wake up, I think, “ugh” and then roll out of bed and get moving I don’t stretch. I don’t take time to wake up fully and appreciate that it will be another wonderful day here on this planet. Who’s got time for that? I have things to do.
He also plays. He spends 45 minutes to an hour rolling around on the floor, chasing after toys, screeching and cooing. He is exhausted afterwards but he clearly has had a blast. Now, you could (and should) argue that this is his job. His job is to develop mentally and physically. Rolling around on the floor, reaching for and examining objects is the way for babies to do this. But the joy he gets out of it? That’s pure bonus. When I think about going to work, a small (or sometimes large) sense of disappointment envelopes me. Another day at work. Another day not doing what I want to be doing. I don’t mind work once I’m there, but do I get joy out of it? Not so much.
Another thing Greyson does is look around. I don’t mean that he casually glances around his environment. He looks. He looks hard. He examines statues, pictures, our dogs, our activities, our faces. He takes it all in and processes it into something he will one day apply to his own life. Aside from the last time I was at an art museum (and even not 100% then), I can’t remember the last time I really looked at something. I certainly can’t remember the last time I really looked at someone. Quite frankly, the thought of really examining an object makes me tired. That’s a lot of work and energy. And, again, who has time to exert that much energy on just looking? There’s real work to be done.
Really though, when you think about it, what work is more important than taking care of yourself (stretching), being happy (playing) and appreciating your life (looking)? I can’t think of any. I can definitely think of tons of excuses why I don’t do these things; But good reasons? None.
So, today, I’m going to start small. I’m going to really look at something or someone. I’ll make an effort not to creep anyone out by staring, I promise. Tomorrow, maybe I’ll stretch when I wake up. That is, if I remember before jumping out of bed to get a move on.