What really matters

Photo: Andy Tran

Today, I spent the whole day with my daughter. I love these days. Now that she has preschool and my schedule is busier, they only happen once or twice a week.

As much as I love them, it’s interesting to watch the monkey mind during these times away from screen time and writing. All day long, as I play with her, I get intense urges to check email, social media, or write my post for the day (like this one). I’m getting better at fighting them. I’m perfecting my skills at being totally present during my time with her instead of being constantly pulled away.

Her nap time is usually my time. It usually lasts an hour, and in that hour, I pour a cup of coffee, throw on some Chris Thile and read/write. It’s my time of solace in the middle of a diaper-changing, food-off-of-highchair-scrubbing, temper-tantrum-deescalating (but also a belly-laughing, armpit-tickling, butterfly-chasing) day.

Today, however, I just wasn’t feeling it. For one, it’s the holidays — the time of year best suited to turning the focus away from the work-work-work mentality towards withdrawing and reflecting on life.

But also, I was tired. I woke myself up with a open-mouthed, back-of-the-throat, belly snore during Sesame Street. I really wanted to take a nap.

Ugh, but how about the writing? When am I going to write my post? What about all those emails?

As I laid down with her (nope, she won’t fall asleep without my head on the pillow next to her), I found myself negotiating with myself.

Ok, how about 15 minutes? Then I’ll get up and go write.

Sounded reasonable enough. So, I set my timer to 15 minutes, laid down with her (on top of the covers for a stealthy escape), and shut my eyes. I was out. Pronto.

When the ding on my phone went off, I was startled awake, and had to turn it off before it woke her up too. As I turned it off, something made me stop.

Damn it. As much as I ‘should’ work right now, what I really want to do is take a full-on afternoon nap with my daughter. I never let myself do that. These days are going to fly by. She’ll be 16 before I know it, and she won’t want to take a nap with her old man anymore.

So, I turned my alarm off, got under the covers, snuggled up, and crashed.

And here I am. Writing this post when I should be sleeping. But that’s okay.

Life is passing us by right now. Sometimes it pays to take stock of what’s really important and go after those moments despite the ‘consequences’ of what the lizard brain tells us to do so we won’t die.

Sometimes it’s best to just get under the damn covers.

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