Written by Dr. Lisa Folden | Healthy Phit Physical Therapy and Wellness Consultants | KNOW Charlotte
As a start to a new tradition, I “interviewed” my three children separately on New Year’s Eve. It was a random and hilarious encounter that I filmed to show them later. Through the laughs though, was a very important lesson that I’m so glad I recorded.
My oldest daughter, Aubrey, started rambling on toward the end of her video and said something so sweet that it nearly brought me to tears. She said “This is just the life that I wished for. When I was in mommy’s tummy…I was really excited for when I was born because I wanted to be alive and have a good life and draw pictures, and run, play and dance. So this is the life I wished for when I was a little baby.”
I’m not just being sappy…that statement really did mean a lot, right? I mean any parent would appreciate hearing that their child actually loves their life. It gave me the sense that my husband and I were doing SOMETHING right. But wait, there’s more. Beyond patting myself on the back for being a “great” parent (at least in that moment), Aubrey’s statement rebuked me in a way that was almost uncomfortable. Here she is, this 6-year-old, with minimal control over her own life, saying with confidence that she has the life she always wished for. How is that even possible??? She’s a kid…and let’s be honest, due to incomplete brain development, all kids carry a certain level of self-centeredness and selfishness.
Many kids are easily upset and lack understanding when they don’t get their way (mine included). So how is Aubrey able to be so content with her life already? After some pondering on my part, I think I’ve figured it out and I want to take a page out of her little book for myself. I believe that my daughter feels so complete in her current state of life because she is an optimist at heart and she truly takes time to enjoy her life…every second. She relishes in her play time. She gives her all each time she runs or dances. She’s ALL IN when it’s time to play a game. She is focused on every detail when she draws a picture. She laughs so vigorously that it’s contagious. Whatever she is doing, she is being present, she is living in that moment and she is absolutely enjoying it. And quite frankly, I want to be like that.
As adults, we often spend most of our time focused on what’s next. We are super-planners with never-ending to-do lists. Even family and friendly activities become bullet lists and check boxes. We aren’t even sure what the movie was about after we’ve seen it. If we take the time to read a book, we zone out after a page or two. When it’s time to relax, we can barely stop our minds. We think we’re missing out on some important social media discussion or impactful email when we’re having dinner. We are constantly plugged in and simultaneously tuned out. Well, I know am.
So, if you are like me in these ways, let’s all be more like Aubrey. Let’s stop and smell the roses, enjoy the aroma, talk about it for a second and recall the way it made us feel. Capture those tiny moments and LIVE in them. Perhaps, if we do this more often, we might also feel that we are living the lives we always dreamed of. And if we find that we are not, maybe we can be more intentional about changing that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Lisa Folden
Healthy Phit Physical Therapy and Wellness Consultants
Dr. Lisa N. Folden is a licensed physical therapist and mom-focused lifestyle coach. Using her skills as a movement expert, Dr. Folden helps clients recover from orthopedic and neurological injuries at her private practice. As a women’s health, body positive & health at every size (HAES) ambassador, Dr. Folden assists women seeking a healthier lifestyle by guiding their wellness choices through organization, planning strategies and holistic goal setting. Helping busy moms find their healthy is one of Dr. Lisa’s top priorities.