Have you ever noticed just how hard it is to truly be “in” the moment”? Sounds like a preposterously easy thing to do, but I find it’s much, much more difficult than intuition might otherwise suggest.
Seems our mind is always just itching to take a holiday from the present. Where it heads off to, because the number of possible destinations is pretty limited, is either the past, or the future. In either case, there’s a plethora of underlying geography to explore – either pleasant or not so much. Obviously, since it’s only my mind I inhabit, here are a few of the places I find myself traipsing about:
A recent slight or (perceived) injustice. No matter how I’d like to just let such things slide, I find myself dwelling on them. Something about them just,…,lingers. Whether I re-live the moment, consider what I might have done differently, or just stew, the effect is the same – I’m somewhere else. Oddly, pleasant past events don’t tend to have the same staying power for ‘interfering’ with the present. Sometimes I think they’re somehow less durable and substantial.
Something on the horizon that’s going to involve some stress. For me, that includes trial work. With a contest looming, particularly the day (and night) before, I really can’t avoid reflecting, planning and second-guessing the plan. Even if I’m well prepared, somehow I’m,…,not. That’s the toughest part of my job; just to prepare and let it be.
Kids know the agony of seemingly stopped time while looking forward (i.e. birthdays, Christmas and summer vacation). As a (nominal) adult, I feel that anticipation for events somewhat less, but often get caught up in wanting to just get something over with (a long drive; the deluge of leaves in the fall). When I ‘re-set’ that feeling consciously, I frequently find lots to enjoy in the thing I thought I was trying to get over with; a nice by-product of just being present.
There’s at least one religion the fundamental tenet of which is remaining in the present. Whether you’re ‘religious’ or not, there’s much to be said for being here,…,now.