Distraction is the divided attention of an individual or group from the chosen object of attention onto the source of distraction. Distraction is caused by: the lack of ability to pay attention; lack of interest in the object of attention; or the great intensity, novelty or attractiveness of something other than the object of attention. Distractions come from both external sources, and internal sources. ~Wikipedia

Last week I was looking for a photo on my camera of my daughter in her new glasses and realized there was a minute-long video that started with the same pose: Bella standing in front of the camera smiling in her magenta specs. I’d taken the photo, but I had no recollection of a video. I clicked on it and wasn’t surprised to hear my son narrating in his best side show barker’s voice, “So this is Bella with her glasses!” while my daughter hammed it up. Typical.

But then you hear a voice nearby, not at all playful or in sync with the video maker and his actress. “Where is my purse?” the voice asks, a tad panicked, a bit annoyed. The camera swoops down to the floor to find me kneeling in front of my bag, searching through it,  no doubt pulling out old grocery lists and yoga class routines — both of which litter my bag – and muttering to myself. Also, I’m sorry to admit, typical.

My anxiety rises and Bella leaves the photo shoot, returning within seconds with the “lost” purse. She is unfazed, as is her brother. This is clearly a common occurrence: lost purse, misplaced keys, spelling words gone awry, one boot vanished. Typical.

What I saw in that video is how hugely distracted I can be. Not in my body. Not in the moment. I didn’t have a clue that someone was filming me (admittedly this is partly because Tobey wields the camera so often that it’s sometimes like living on a reality TV show), or that this comedic moment was occurring right above me.

I often remind myself to enjoy my kids now as we all know how fast it goes. And I often think I do a pretty good job of this. But this little moment, captured now for youtube and beyond, makes me wonder just how often I’m actually very much not here.

May 2012 be the year of coming into my present moment. Solidly. Mindfully. Here.


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