I am having a lot of trouble finishing this newsletter simply because I am not present. I’m watching the clock, thinking about all the things I have to do between now and 3:30. Go shopping, do laundry, pack. I am so focused on where I want to be (in Estes Park by 5:30) that I am failing to notice where I am now. I am sitting in my office at my desk, but I’m not present in the moment.
So many times we are so focused on where we want to be that we don’t even notice what is going on right now. We miss so much of life because we are not present in the moment. I love to walk Maverick in the morning. I stop to look down the hill over Louisville and Lafayette, I hear the birds, see the pretty purple wildflowers, feel the breeze and the sun. I’m truly in the moment. Then I walk back in the door and it’s gone. I start thinking about getting breakfast ready, getting Malaika to school, what clients I’m going to see that day. I simply don’t appreciate the moment.
But how do we be present in the moment? It’s not easy because we are always looking ahead. But here are some suggestions;
1. Breathe deeply. A deep breath will slow you down and relax you. It will give you a chance to think. This morning after swimming I started thinking about the day. When I was in the locker room, I said “I don’t know what to do now” It was a rhetorical question, but I got an answer anyway. My friend Julie said, “Start with putting your pants on.” We had a good laugh, but the point is I had stopped breathing and stopped thinking. I wasn’t in the moment and was thinking about too many other things.
2. Make a list. Today I’m trying to keep my list in my head. That never works very well and I spend a lot of time trying to remember what I should be doing. If I write a list I can focus on what I’m doing now and not worry about about other things because I have a list. And I get the added benefit of being able to cross things off the list.
3. Manage your tasks effectively. That is another thing I failed at this morning. I knew I was going to go to the bank and on the way I remembered that I forgot one of the checks I needed to deposit. So I had to go back home and get it. So I didn’t get in to the office as soon as I wanted and now I feel that I’m behind my self-imposed schedule.
So how am I going to handle the rest of my day? I’m going to be sure to breathe, write a list, manage my tasks so I don’t have to back-track and pay attention to what is going on now. Life is too short to live in the future and not enjoy the present.