Living “in the moment” is hard. It’s one of those things I strive to do and I know I should do. I mean, if each moment is precious (and it is), shouldn’t I do my best to make the most of each one?
There are only about a thousand ways to practice living in the moment. Mindful meditation. Writing in a gratitude journal. Chewing each bite 30 times. Praying for the other drivers on the road. (Okay, admittedly I do “bless” other drivers a lot.)
But doing any of these consistently often proves difficult for some reason.
Actually, it’s not “for some reason.” It’s for the reason that I’m usually thinking about all the other things I need to do while I’m doing any one thing. For example, as I’m writing this blog I’m thinking about the other topics I want to write about. That made me think of sharing recipes which caused me to remember that I was supposed to order groceries this morning. So, in the middle of drafting this message, I stopped to order groceries and from now until sometime between 7-8 tonight when I pick them up, a part of my brain will be set to “remember the groceries” no matter what I’m doing.
Yes, I know I could just write it down. Then I’d be thinking about which list I used for that reminder. It’s like that.
I can’t be the only one, can I?
What difference does it make anyway as long as stuff gets done? Is this living in the moment business really all that important?
Maybe it is.
It was Columbus Day. I was working for the State and in Tennessee Columbus Day is recognized the day after Thanksgiving. So, on the actual Columbus Day, I was working while other offices, including Federal offices and banks were closed. My young son was home being cared for by my parents.
I decided to take advantage of the less-than-usual traffic and run some errands during my lunch hour. I grabbed a sandwich and ate in the car while sitting in the park. And then called home to check on my family.
As it turned out, everyone was having a pretty good day. Except for my father. His day hadn’t really been problematic, I discover, just frustrating.
“Why? What happened?” I asked my mother as I drove toward my first destination.
“Well, his first stop was supposed to be the bank. He forgot they were closed today and got all the way over there just to find out he couldn’t do what he needed to do until tomorrow,” she explained.
“Why were they closed?”
“It’s Columbus Day.”
“Oh, right. I completely forgot. When my office isn’t closed, I forget it’s a holiday for other people.”
“Well, obviously, we forgot, too, or he wouldn’t have driven all the way to the bank.”
“Okay, well, I’m here for my first stop. I’ll talk to you later,” I said.
And then I pulled into my bank’s parking lot. And stared at the “lane closed” signs in wonderment and, yes, frustration.
Like magic, I remembered the conversation I’d had ten seconds before. It was Columbus Day. Banks were closed – ALL banks were closed.
I would have assured you earlier that morning that I’m a “live in the moment” kind of person. But at lunchtime I couldn’t deny the stark truth: in reality, I’m a “live in what I think the moment’s going to be” kind of girl.
Not a lot has changed apparently. I will still strive to appreciate each moment so that, if nothing else, I can reduce the frustration in my life.
The truth is my moments are pretty good. I have many more good minutes than bad. Maybe living in the moment is a difficult place to start.
Maybe appreciating each moment should be my focus.
Especially on holidays.