Living in the Moment

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I have a hard time staying present.

I’m always thinking, planning, ready to move on to what’s next.   I live through words–I read, I write.  The narrator in my head keeps up a running commentary, describing every second of my day.  I’m often in my head, with my thoughts and my ideas and my words.  Sometimes it’s hard to come out and inhabit my body; hard to come out and engage with the people around me.

And yet I have these two small people who need me, need me to be there and to listen and to play and to help.  Sometimes it is so nice to be needed.  And sometimes it is exhausting.

I’m ashamed to admit that I’m often distracted, often overusing the phrases “In a minute, sweetie” and “Hang on, let me finish this first”.  I love reading about mindfulness and being “in the moment”, and imagining myself one day as a mindful, meditating zen master–but it is not something that comes naturally to me.  It doesn’t even come unnaturally to me.  In fact, I’m finding it to be pretty damn near impossible to do.

I know I’m not alone in this.  We live in the golden age of multitasking.  Information is easy to come by, and most of us are grazing all day long.  In less than a minute you can check your email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds, and then answer a text on your phone.   (In fact, during the time it took to get these few paragraphs written, I probably clicked out of this window at least a dozen times doing just that.)  Our minds are trained to jump around at lightning speed, and trying to slow them down and focus them on a single task or a single moment is no easy feat.

Every once in a while, though, I get a glimpse.  It’s as though I “wake up” and things slow down for a few seconds, and I can see my boys.  I can see their sweet, soft little cheeks and their strong, never-still legs, and their little boy hands.  My favorite thing in the world is watching them when they’re completely absorbed in something.  I love watching them dig or stack rocks or examine ants. That concentration, that fascination–that, to me, is childhood.

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So even though it seems like I’ll never get it right sometimes, I will keep trying to be there, really be there, for those moments.  I don’t want to miss them.

——–

On a scale of “I suck at it” to “Zen Master”, how are you at being in the moment?

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4 thoughts on “Living in the Moment

  1. It. Is. So. Hard. To be in the moment and to remember to enjoy these fleeting times with loved ones. Very occasionally I can stay focused and what a great experience that is! I have found that those focused moments get locked in my memory and become precious to me.
    Ok, except when I see a scorpion hanging out of a vent, a giant spider falls on me, a snake appears out of nowhere (don’t tell me I was busy inside my head and I should have been watching!!) on my hiking path. Those moments are not precious and, unfortunately, they become very “in the moment” and engraved on my mind! Grrrr…..

  2. You could say that’s one of my goals this year….to be in the moment with my kids, too (one of my zillion goals…haha…hey, I figure if I make a TON, I’m bound to accomplish at least a couple, right?) 😀 As part of this goal, I am trying very very hard not to be on the computer when my kids are awake, and I’m only getting on Facebook once a day (ideally it’d only be a couple times a week…). I want to SEE my kids more, too. Look at their faces, in their eyes, when they are speaking, playing.

    • That is such an awesome goal. I find myself going on the computer a lot during the day out of boredom, or wanting to do some writing…I really don’t want my kids to remember me as the mom who was often using a screen. And getting on fb once a day–love that. Maybe I’ll try to adopt some of your goals. 🙂 I love what you said about really seeing your kids, too–I know exactly what you mean.

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