For a long time now I’ve been trying to live more in the moment.
I want to enjoy my family and not be worried about tomorrow or stuck in the past.
Why is it so hard?
Then it hit me: I DO live in the moment. I’m actually very good at it.
“When is this stupid red light going to change?” “Look at the traffic!” “Come on, go already!”
Waiting for my d e l i b e r a t e and s u p e r s l o w preschooler to put on his shoes is an exercise in torture. It feels like an eternity.
Isn’t that what living in the moment is? Being so present that now feels like all there is?
Maybe living in the moment isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
When I’m razor focused on the most obvious thing in the moment, I often miss the important.
When I focus on my son’s task of putting on his shoes, I’m blind to him as a person, to the beauty of nature outdoors, to appreciating how the older ones have learned to get themselves ready and out the door on their own.
I’m so focused on the task at hand that eternity of the moment is forgotten.
C.S. Lewis wrote, “the present is the point at which time touches eternity.”
But surely that red light will not be there in eternity.
Maybe living in the moment means focusing on the part of the moment that is eternal: the good, the true, and the beautiful.
Not the shoes, but the boy-turning-man.
Not the traffic, but the people I’m with.
Not my problems and my troubles, but the blessings I’m thoughtlessly taking for granted.
Maybe planning the future and reflecting on the past aren’t the enemies of living in the moment, but rather a way to use the present to connect with the eternal parts of the past and the future.
Or maybe planning and problem solving are only helpful in that they make the path smoother so we can focus more on the eternal part of the present moment.
I can’t enjoy my son as a person when we started to get ready too late.
Or can I?
Can I still enjoy the scenery when we’re late and in traffic?
Only if joy is a higher priority than punctuality.
Ouch. I want to be joyful and punctual, but if I have to choose . . . I usually choose being pissed off because we failed to be punctual.
Like I wrote last week, I’m no longer pretending I have more solutions than questions, so this is where my thoughts end and yours begin!