Nga mihi nui ki a koutou.
When I speak to people, I have noticed a recurring theme - hope and expectation that 2016 will be better than 2015. 2015 seemed to be in a great rush to finish and it just hurtled by. People are hopeful that 2016 will move at a more moderate pace and there will be more time to smell the roses.
In fact we often assign time more agency than it actually has. When we say "time flies", we are personifying time and giving it human qualities it actually doesn't have. Time cannot make decisions, it just moves by at the same rate year after year after year. It is human beings who have the agency to decide how they will experience time. We can live in the moment, experiencing every minute of it. In doing so, we effectively slow time down. Or we can rush through, barely marking the passing of time and experiencing little meaningfully.
This weekend our fifth child was married. Natasha Kym Murrihy married David Paulussen at the Medici Court, Hamilton Gardens. Natasha's five sisters were bridesmaids. One of her brothers was a groomsman and the other brother was the marriage celebrant - his first wedding. Like all families, when our family gets together, childhood stories are told. Always, I am a little surprised at what happened that I knew nothing about. Perhaps children are meant to have their own little secrets. Certainly, it would be terrible for them if parents knew everything. However, I sometimes wonder if I had my finger enough on the pulse. I thought I was so present - but perhaps I was not as present as I thought.
One day children are babies in your arms and the next you are walking down the aisle with them. It happens in the blink of an eye. I think that rather than hoping that 2016 will be slower paced, we need to take control of time by being present in every moment - or working towards it - and, thereby, experiencing our lives more meaningfully. The children in Koru Team are exploring "Mindfulness" this term. This is all about being focused on the present moment. Perhaps this is something we all need to explore. I know that Mindfulness seminars are being held at the Churton Park Community Centre.
We have had a lovely, calm start to the year. My hope is that we take control and hold onto that calmness and avoid that "hurtling" feeling. Acknowledging that whether we do or don't "smell the roses" is actually up to us, is a necessary step towards achieving this. Here's to a mindful/present 2016.