Now is everything.




Two nights ago I had a realization. Or a recollection I suppose.

Something that we all know on some level, yet something that I need to remind myself of. Because I tend to forget. Remember, forget. Remember, forget.

What I realized was: All that I have is this moment. 

How do I choose to spend it?

I want to spend today fully alive. Drinking it in and living it fullynot just going through the motions. Living. Joyfully. Passionately. Awake and alive with all that I have. I want the full messy, sticky, juicyness of now.

Because now is everything.

The ugly and the beautiful, the sweet and the bitter, the whole of this life.

I want the real deal. All of it. Today.

Right now.

Choosing to remember this simple fact could change almost everything that isn't working in my life. Because it would change my perspective and my awareness. I want to live with this knowledge everyday. I want it to shape me.

Yes, I live fully most everyday. But not most of everyday. I lose time and drift away and let distraction lead me time and again. Sometimes I fall asleep at the wheel (so to speak) and don't notice all that is passing me by. The beauty. The magic. The ordinary, everyday pleasures of now.

Distraction. It devours my days.

What about you?

We're so distracted sometimes that we can't hear the voices of our children, our partners, or even ourselves over the chatter in our minds or the screen in our hands.

Sometimes we're not even here, even thought we are.

So I started with the obvious. I turned off the computer.

This step is huge. (For me anyway.) I unplugged. And I convinced myself that nothing happening on this box was better or more seductive or more exciting than a single thing going on in my kitchen, my backyard, or with my family.

Because what I have is always more real and worthwhile than what distracts me from it. 

So I turned off the computer but I also turned off my love affair with it.

The computer serves a purpose. It inspires. It educates. It entertains. It connects. But in my world its power is greater than the good that it delivers. We need to make the leap from its constant presence to it's more judicious, mindful use.

We need to wake up and decide how and when we choose to plug in.

So the computer was off. And then we ate dinner outside. I made eye-contact with my husband and laughed with my kids. We talked. A lot. And lingered around the table. After dinner we got into the truck and headed to the country to dream our country dream again before sleep.

When we got home I chose to leave the computer off and crawl into bed early with my kids. I slept long and woke up feeling alive. Present. And joyful. And ready for the moments that make up this day.

In the morning I cranked out my work as quickly as I could and then powered off the computer again. I vowed to leave it be until late afternoon when I had another block of work time scheduled. And I did.

In truth, I hardly thought of it. I just was. Alive. In the simple now of my day. 

Instead of bouncing between my family and the screen, I did the things I always do, but with more presence of mind. I…

~read books to my children,

~hung laundry in the sun,

~ate lunch outside,

~sanded some furniture for refinishing,

~played with my puppy,

~canned rhubarb ketchup,

~researched tadpoles,

~went searching for tadpoles,

~headed to the farm for milk,

~made yogurt,

~read more books,

~and was present. All day. Fully, joyfully present. In my now.

I did not…

~wonder what was happening on Facebook,

…or Pinterest,

…or in my inbox,

…or here on the blog,

~need to research a recipe,

…or pattern,

…or project,

~or cave to the distraction. I did not miss anything. It was quite the opposite.

So today I'm going for it again. I'm logging off. Powering down. Because my email will still be here tonight when I check in. We'll be in the kitchen, at the library, and out looking for tadpoles again. Because that is living. And I want living more than another good idea or another distraction from this day.

As a bonus, I'm going to model healthier behaviors to my kids. And while I''m at it I'll be more grounded, present, and alive in this day.

Because today is all I've got.

Will you join me and live more in the now, starting today?


29 thoughts on “Now is everything.

  1. Rachel says:

    My Facebook post last night was something to the tune of how I keep finding ‘excuses’ (facebook, Pinterest, funny websites, this blog 😉 to stay up super late, even though my 2 little lovies get me up super early every morning. Thanks for the reminder…over and out!

  2. Charmaine says:

    Love, love, love this. I’ve been meaning for ages to set certain blocks of the day for the computer and shut it off otherwise. So much of my life is tied up in my computer though. Organizing a playdate? Email or Facebook. Looking for a craft to do? Google. New recipe for dinner? I have that bookmarked somewhere. Etc etc. And now I’m thinking of starting a blog. Sheeesh. I definitely need to find a better balance and not let the computer suck so much time and attention from me.

    OK! Shutting off my computer now…!

  3. Rachel Wolf says:

    Charmaine, Im still on line, finishing work and saw your comment. 🙂 What you spoke to is exactly where I am at. And what I realized what that we have created these false urgencies that draw us to the computer over and over again. (As a small business owner as well I think you probably understand the draw even better than others may.) But really, does it need to be done now? Do you have some craft ideas in your head for today, and maybe a recipe in your kitchen? Thats my deal. I will still boot up to look at my ketchup recipe, but it is mindful. Focused. Singular. And then Im done. Thats what Im going for. Using it like I would use the dictionary rather than something to distract and entertain me.

    Good luck! (To both of us.)

  4. Cassandra says:

    As someone who sits at a computer 8 hrs a day for work, I can really appreciate this. When I am at home, I don’t really put it on for fun. If I need to search a recipe or look at blogs, I keep it short. The mindless surfing feels really unproductive. I think that there is a weird blessing in the computer representing work in my world…shunning it at home comes naturally. 🙂

  5. Julie Kittredge says:

    This is a wonderful wonderful post. I am a total lurker. But my heart is so aligned with yours. I run a business from home too and struggle with the balance of my home life and the need/desire to maintain a thriving business. There is constant tension. But … I desperately want to be present. Totally present during these fleeting years. My kids are 11, 9, and 5 and it is so obvious how my distractions affect the spirit of our relationships on a day to day basis. When I am present, the spirit of our family is so much more soft – grace filled – beautiful – fun. I’m joining the movement. Blessings to you and your family. Thank you for communicating the heart of this issue so clearly, you are a gift to many mama’s out here!

  6. Sharilyn says:

    I resisted the siren call of most high tech gadgets for a long time- my cell phone plan was s 20 minutes a month plan! I really never understood why anyone would ever want a smart phone- then I got one in November and chaos insued! It came to a point where I had to start leaving my phone at home just so I wouldn’t be one of those parents at the park checking Facebook! I love it but at the same time can’t stand it!

  7. Spring says:

    Thank you for the timely post! I needed a gentle reminder of what is important. Remembering how I found myself frustrated these past couple days and realized it was because I wasn’t present and felt pulled in too many directions. I utilize the internet for everything you mentioned and my children do too frequently. We had a schedule of sorts before with simple blocks of time that worked well for all of us and I plan to return to that. I will enjoy the now, and move gracefully through the day….and unplug. Thank you.

  8. kendra says:

    yes. did you see the post circulating ‘how to miss a childhood’? it really hit home for me too. i’ve sworn off words with friends (unless the kids are asleep). and i’m trying. really trying. thanks for the inspiration.

  9. Beth says:

    My daughter (6) said last night she hopes to not have a computer when she grows up. (She gets how we come here to just turn on the music or do some quick business thing and soon are drawn in by it on the days we haven’t committed to limit it.) I said it could be possible that people are over them by then. Why not dream!? We don’t turn on a TV the way my grandparents did. Thanks for reminding us we really can run businesses and still step away completely for chunks of the day. The garden calls…

  10. Rachel Wolf says:

    My husband got a smart phone and even I am distracted by it. He doesn’t use it often, but I am aware that even at the cabin (in the car, etc, etc.) we can connect. Such a wild time we live in. To think, a decade ago I didn’t even have internet.

  11. Kim says:

    Great post Rachel, as always. I, for the most part am computer free during the day, and try to live fully in the now with my little man. I work in the morning before he gets up and in the evening when he goes to bed, other than that the computer is off unless the little man and my hubby are occupied without me, then I will hop on and try to clear up a few things so I have a bit of time to myself in the evening.

    I do not have any devices that allow me to check email on the go. If I am online I am sitting at my computer. I find the devices of today to intrusive and we chose not to have them. It works for us.

    We also choose to go completely screen free on Sundays and there are some weekends when I log off for the entire weekend. Those weekends are the best!

    Hope you keep enjoying your computer free days 🙂

  12. krissie says:

    maybe its a generational thing, but when I was young, when we finished watching tv/our fave show we switched the tv OFF.I instilled that in my kids and they do the same.
    I just hate it when we go to peoples homes and the tv/computer is blaring away mostly unwatched all DAY!! ye gods!! so it was lovely to read your post and maybe by unplugging you’ll inspire others to do the same! think how much electricity/power bills you’ll save too!

    I always switch my computer off when I’m done. I do surf in blocks about twice a day sometimes more, but the fact that the ‘puter is switched off inbetween sessions, it actually makes me think hard before I switch it on again!

  13. ZingDay says:

    oh so good! you’re such an inspiration to me. Thank you. I think I’ll practice that myself. Love your description of “devoured by distraction”! That’s me too!

  14. renee @ FIMBY says:

    Our internet connection is bad these days so I’ve had a forced fasts. Unfortunately, I’m spending that time packing and decluttering, dealing with moving paperwork and craziness. But I have reminded myself likewise, that this is my moment. Here.

  15. Sharilyn says:

    Haha! I’m not going to lie- I once believe the Internet was a fad & I didn’t need to know about it or use a computer ! My friends in university thought I was a scream to use a typewritten- until the end of 2nd year! It is indeed a wild time we live in:)

  16. Rachel Wolf says:

    Would you believe I was dreaming of the days of spotty internet before I took the bull by the horns regarding the internet last week? Yup. Ill regret shooting that out into the universe someday. 🙂

  17. dixiebelle says:

    Absolutely. I started the other day, in fact. The only reason I got to read this blog post of yours is that I was checking my emails to follow up on a work issue I am having… but there was an email from one of my favourite bloggers, one of the few that I actually subscribed to her blog updates by email, and she linked to you. I came to read because I am in a turbulent place at the moment, trying to gather my thoughts and anxieties back in, and live more in the present. I am thankful that you came back to your computer long enough to blog this. It speaks to me. It speaks to where I am at.

  18. Kirsten says:

    What a wonderful post. In theory I am always all for the descreening people (ironically enough) blog about, but in practice my work is on the computer, and it involves social networking. I love it, but it is also my job. And while I have some solid periods of work, a lot of it is done in between other things, fitted in to my day where it can. 

    But lately I’ve been realising that I need to make sure it doesn’t take over my life. I need to set particular goals and discrete periods of time where I work, and other periods of time when I really don’t. Because it’s starting to make me crazy. 

    So powering down in between clear work periods is definitely an important part of the answer for me. I can’t stop reading emails for a week (unless I’m taking a holiday and let people know), but I can stop checking on and off all day. 

    Thanks. 🙂

  19. Joy Sussman at says:

    Hello Rachel,
    I’m so happy to have found your blog through the “Inspiring Reads” section of Little Eco Footprints (one of my favorite blogs). Your photos are really lovely, and we share the same mindset on trying to keep technology in check (which is funny, coming from a blogger, isn’t it?). I’ve written two articles about the very same subject on my own blog–here are the links, in case you’d like to take a look:

    Anyway, just wanted to say hello to you across the blogosphere. Looking forward to reading more of your blog! (I just subscribed.)
    Joy Sussman

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