Except real life isn't measured in how far you walked, how little you spent, or what you ate or even how much time you allocate. Real life requires recognizing, we're called to be more like Mary, to chose the better portion and not be anxious about many things.
This past weekend, I found myself eating breakfast with my seven year old. I'd been working on being more present to all of my children, but it's still an act of the will. Sitting down across from her with my cereal, I saw why it shouldn't be hard. Her face lit up like a Christmas tree and she chirped on about school, summer, breakfast, the book she read, the book she would read, and what we should do today. I honestly think I said three words, but sitting in the sunshine of her smile, I felt full, this was being Mary, not Martha. For a moment, I knew it.
Then I promptly forgot it in the hassle of trying to fold laundry, clean up, run errands, nag the teen to take a practice S.A.T and the other teen to study for a science test, stop the tween from sassing the younger ones for playing on the Wii and potty training the six year old who decided today to begin showing progress.
The ultimate comeuppance came when my husband asked for a foot rub after a long day. I found myself beginning the Divine Mercy Chaplet to mark the time, to make sure I did a long enough rub. I've done this before but this time, the Holy Spirit pushed back. "Are you ever just present?" It wasn't that prayer was bad or that I was even doing wrong, it was a push to be more fully in the moment, to not try to be so efficient in all things.