Saren Eyre Loosli received her BA from Wellesley College, her Masters in Education from Harvard, traveled the world, ran nationwide training programs for educators, then finally found her Mr Right and promptly had five children in five years. Her oldest is now nine and her youngest, twin boys, are four. When she's not busy doing all the hard and wonderful things moms do, Saren runs the website The Power of Moms, conducts training events for mothers, and helps mothers start high-quality preschools in their homes through The Joy School Company.

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Treasuring the Doing

“The biggest mistake I made as a parent is the one that most of us make. . .I did not live in the moment. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get to the next thing. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.”

-Anna Quindlen

I’ve been making this mistake.  Yep, I sure have.  I treasure getting things done.  I love that “rush” I feel when I finish a blog post or a load or laundry or a new program on Power of Moms (just launched our new Bloom Game last night – wow that felt good).  I think we all need to get things done.  When we’re not progressing and accomplishing things, it’s easy to get down on ourselves and life can look a little bleak.

But maybe sometimes the “doing” IS the accomplishment.

When I sit and read books with my kids the goal is not really to finish the book.  It’s to enjoy the process of reading the book together and learning the lessons it offers.  When I go to one of my Learning Circle meetings (like I did tonight) the goal isn’t to get the meeting done.  It’s to enjoy the meeting and learn from each other and have fun together.

I need to apply this to more things in my life.  The main goal of bedtime shouldn’t really be to get the kids in bed (although some nights that goal is paramount!).  Shouldn’t it really be about snuggling with my kids, praying with them, reading to them, feeling a nice little end-of-the-day connection?  And maybe the goal of cleaning up the kitchen after dinner with my kids should actually be to talk and laugh while we work together. (The article “What’s the Point of Housework?” taught me this).

I need to work on enjoying the “doing” and accepting the process as part of the goal.  It’s the present that really counts.

My dad had us memorize this quote by the Sanscrit poet (whoever that is) when we were little and I haven’t thought of it as much as I’d like:

“Yesterday is but a dream.  Tomorrow but a vision. But today, well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.  Look well, therefore to this day.”

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Comments (3)

  1. raejean 06/19/2010 at 8:01 am

    I think most moms have to learn to live in the moment. I guess it's understandable, who really wants to “live” all those diaper changing moments? But as I look back on those diaper changing moments and other less spectacular moments, there's a lot of good memories there. Even when we start to figure out the joy that comes from living in the moment, we still get side tracked from time to time. Thanks for the reminder

  2. Jen 06/18/2010 at 8:09 am

    Oh, and thanks for the quote! I love it!

  3. Jen 06/18/2010 at 8:06 am

    I was just pondering this the other day. I'm a busybody by nature, but recently I've felt so convicted about my busyness. I call it learning to “be.” I rush through the day and I need to treasure the moments along the way. Thanks so much for sharing!