Saturday, November 8, 2008

One at a Time Please

Tonight I finished a pair of socks for Matthew that I started knitting- oh let's see- two weeks before Dory arrived... so that would be... three and a half months ago. Give or take a few days. The color is "Superbowl Shuffle" in honor of the Chicago Bears and I originally intended to give them to him at the start of the NFL season as a Congratulations Big Daddy! gift.

Tomorrow will be the Bears ninth game of the year. And finally, finally, a pair of hand-knit men's socks are finished.

Of course, being a new mama means a whole new set of priorities. Starting and finishing a meal without an interruption is rare. Finding time to knit might be considered the equivalent of reaching into the refrigerator for a glass of $8.99 Chardonnay only to discover a perfectly chilled bottle of Dom Perignon.

This is not to say there hasn't been time. In fact, there are plenty of times a day I might snatch a few minutes and whip out a few rounds. Except...

There's this going on..

And this...

And this...

And instead of picking up my knitting needles or a book or my notebook and pencil, I sit and watch. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, a voice says, "but you could ALSO be..." I understand this voice. This little part of my brain hasn't yet reconciled to the fact something so special is going on, that I can't find a way to do something else too. Of course, when I do find time to write out a post or knit a few rounds, I'm delighted and I think "Ooo, why don't I do this more often? When Matthew has her or she's playing on her playmat, I could..." Except the next time Dory's grinning at her daddy or chatting in that fascinating language that makes me think of E.T. speaking Pig Latin, I just. Can't. Do. It.

This is a great exercise is slowing down, in doing. One. Activity. At a time. So many times a day, I take multi-tasking to the next level. How many of us do? On the phone, while on the internet, while cooking dinner, and writing out a to-do list for tomorrow, Dory along for the ride in the baby back-pack on my chest. And that's when I'm at home, relaxing!

I realize the ability to do two things at one time (or three or four) can be a great help. Chatting while folding laundry. Driving while working out a plan with someone on my cell. Writing out the grocery list, while taking out the dogs (oh, yeah, I've done it). Combining a mundane task with something a little more interesting or simply necessary.

But how often, do I find myself doing this mindlessly? Yes, I'm carrying on a conversation, but I'm searching the internet too because... it's there. Or I'm making that phone call in my car because otherwise the car would be... silent. My mind has become so accustomed to being busy, I don't always remember how to slow down.

So now I'm learning the art of single-tasking. Focusing on one thing, at a time, for a little while. Dory makes it easy. When I let myself pay attention just to her, she's captivating. But I'm hoping to carry this to other parts of my life. Cooking dinner without checking my email. Chatting with my husband without mentally planning what I have to do tomorrow. Just watching and enjoying. From what I hear from other parents, there isn't much longer that I'll be able to entertain her completely by blowing big raspberries on her tummy. And how much would I kick myself later when I realized I let that opportunity go by?


Kristine said...

Just wait until your dinner becomes a serenade by the little one using your leg to hold you up and experimenting with which series of whiny-shrieky sounds gets you to share your food the fastest.

Although, all told, I prefer it to the days when I used to have to try and bounce the baby with no headcontrol so I could eat something actually warm.

Renee said...

These are adorable pictures! She is so beautiful! I can see why you aren't interested in doing much else. Take care!