We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.“ – Bill Watterson (author of Calvin and Hobbes)
I want to live more in the moment. You know, those moments when you are totally focused, nothing else matters, and you are aware of all your senses. Distractions and other concerns are absent. To experience life as it happens, not worrying about the consequences or the outcome.
I recall vacations, little league ball games, swim meets, conversations with my mom or daughter, weddings, funerals, I could go on and on. I was so occupied or distracted with something else that I wasn’t able to appreciate the whole experience as it was happening. I wish I would have had the self awareness to just stop and soak it all in. I have photographs to help recreate these moments, but something is missing.
Fortunately all is not lost. I have experienced moments where I was totally immersed. For example, it would be almost impossible to not be “in the moment” while giving birth! Each of my three children’s deliveries were totally different experiences for me ~ from labor to delivery. I can remember as clearly as if they happened yesterday. Such precious moments as I gazed in silent wonder at my newest bundle of love in its purest form.
Another time I can recall was when my children were infants and gave me their first smile of recognition. Their little arms circled around as they reached towards me. Their little legs kicked with glee as they broke out into these delightfully, charming smiles. I was totally enchanted.
One more moment to share was when my oldest grandson was just a little guy. He would occassionally come over to spend the night. We would play whatever he wanted to play, make brownies, and eat pizza. At bedtime we would always have such sweet conversations. One time in particular, as we hugged and kissed goodnight, he said, “I love you so much!” The sincerity in his voice, and the emotions it stirs in my heart to this very day, is a moment I will forever cherish.
When I spend time with my grandchildren I am aware of the joy, simplicity, curiosity, and innocence they exude. They are the essence of life in all of its beauty. Do you ever notice how children want us to play with them, to participate in the present moment, and challenge us to reawaken our creativity? I envy their uninhibited emotions. They can be happy, sad, or angry all within a matter of minutes. They cry loudly and they laugh unabashedly. Imaginations soar and their dreams are always within reach. They are the absolute definition of “living in the moment”.
Next year, tomorrow, or even tonight is not a guarantee. I yearn to pause and appreciate the beauty and abundance of life once again, the same way I did when I was a child. This new year I want to reconnect with that familiar childlike spark deep inside myself.
Psalm 118:24: This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.