I have written multiple times here about paying attention. I probably have written so many times about the topic because I need the reminder.
I need to tell myself to pay attention.
When we decided to begin teaching the boys at home last year, I knew I needed to pay attention. See, I am not disciplined. I am easily distracted.
FaceBook is mental candy for me. Games. Short updates on multiple friends. Pictures and links to interesting articles. And then of course Pinterest. I love FaceBook. I love the connection to such a diverse grouping of my friends. I love seeing the pictures of their families growing through the years, seeing marriages and births. Mourning through deaths. Rejoicing through victories. It really is a rather remarkable social connection.
Especially to a stay-at-home mom who has limited interaction with adults and friends.
I find myself distracted and I find myself wanting to check in on what is happening with friends, wanting to play the games and wanting to post something interesting.
I find that I check in on the computer in between talking to the kids about history or Bible. I’ll take a few minutes to check something, and I’ll look and find that a few minutes has become fifteen, has become thirty.
Did I mention I am not the most disciplined person?
I find myself not paying attention where I need to pay attention. I need to look at the little ones who are looking to see if I am “liking” the tower they just built out of blocks, the amazing mess they just made with baking soda. Have I commented on their latest story? See where I’m going?
There is more though. This year I have begun developing some of my own curriculum. Specifically Bible. I am enjoying the process, and also realizing how much time I need to devote to the project. Quite a lot, it turns out.
More than that, though.
We can’t grow on candy. I love mental candy. I love playing games like Candy Crush and Tetris. I love watching my favorite shows. I love catching up on life in snippets. I don’t grow on these things, though.
I grow on being stretched and challenged and reading deeply. That simply cannot be rushed. That requires paying attention. But, oh my does that feed the soul. And the mind. That makes me feel alive, makes me think more deeply and quickly…that gives me something to give to the kids in teaching them.
That makes me more present. That makes me pay attention.
So. I turned off FaceBook. Took the apps off my phone and iPad. Logged off on the computer. Turned off the distraction. I have not shut off my account, but I have minimized the distraction. Sometimes it is allowable to have a little candy. Even a little Candy Crush. Plus, When I post articles here on the blog they post on my FaceBook page, so I’ll be somewhat present that way.
This school year, however, I want to be present to the kids. I want to pay attention to them. I want them to know they have my focus.
Part of that is feeding my soul and my mind so I have something to give them each day. Part of that is turning off the distractions so I am not looking away when they are looking to see if I am watching them.
Part of that is simply being more disciplined. It is no great revelation, no amazing fact. I am not saying anything staggering. I’m actually just saying I need to grow up a little, it really is as simple as that. Growing up a little, paying attention, being intentional and turning off the distractions. Yep. That’s the vision for this year.
Less candy. More meat and veggies.