Living in the Moment
July 26, 2012 by Rose Cook
People have often complimented me on my planning skills and ability to think ahead and those who know me well know I’m a huge fan of setting goals and striving to achieve them. Yet while these are admirable and valuable attributes, I often find myself missing out on the “moment” because I’m so busy working on the details of my next project, next vacation or next event. So what about NOW? What am I doing right this moment? Does this sound familiar – you’re sitting on the beach enjoying a good book while also thinking about work and an upcoming presentation? Or maybe it’s Sunday evening and you’re having a great time at a neighbor’s cookout when thoughts of going to work on Monday creep in and kill the mood.
I have to remind myself that it’s more important to focus on the matters at hand in the present moment. Easier said than done! I’m a planner, so this is very hard for me. In all fairness though, doesn’t what you’re doing right now – work or play – deserve your full attention?
It’s the old “remember to stop and smell the roses” cliché, but it’s so true! If your head is down, just running from “point A to point B”, you’ll miss all the good stuff on the way. Similarly, sometimes we have to give ourselves permission to let go of the past too. We’ve all made mistakes, we’ve all missed opportunities. That’s life, learn from it. Do better next time, but rather than dwelling on that which we can’t rewrite, let’s get over the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” and move on to today. Holding on to past grudges, hurts, disappointments, etc. is human nature, but maybe we’d be happier if we just looked at the NOW, not forward or back.
I’m not suggesting you put off all thoughts of everything else, of course there are plenty of priorities in your life that require attention and shouldn’t just be left to chance. Plan that future, but don’t dwell on it all the time. Anticipation for future things is good as long as it doesn’t engulf you to the point of missing the fun of today. A friend recently recounted a story about her cousin who chose to sock away every penny he made so he could retire at the age of 50. He never took a vacation, he rarely went out to eat or to a movie and lived on the bare essentials. Sadly, he didn’t live long enough to see his early retirement and enjoy all the things he deprived himself of for all those years. He never lived in the moment and the moment he was living for never came. So sad.
It’s summer. Take the time to bask in the sunshine without worrying about the work waiting for you at the office or the next project that needs your attention. Enjoy your “present moment” to its fullest…and then let me know how it feels!