I recently shared a very personal and intimate moment with someone (head outta the gutter, please) and asked him what he was thinking at that very second. The question startled him. He answered, “This; where I am. That’s all I’m thinking about”. That 14 second exchange has been hanging in the recesses of my brain and heart since it occurred; even as I type this I am a little teary -eyed in discovering why it hit me so hard.
Here’s what I’m figuring…
Sometimes, not often or even frequently, someone says something that kicks you in the balls. Know what I mean? Like a moment that you really can’t use your wit, sarcasm or charm to back out of. And in that exchange with this new friend, details not to be discussed, I was reminded of how lovely moments can be. Sometimes, our desire for ‘what’s next’ takes us away from what is completely and utterly unfolding right in front of us; and it is THOSE moments that can be missed.
Why am I writing this now? As you all know, I have been going through some shit this last year, and I feel like that shit moved from ‘rehearsal mode’ and debuted on the big stage just before the New Year – like a serious opening night sorta gig. I was in major reflection mode and I started losing track of me.
My friend has given me perspective – sometimes that’s really all we need. We can easily get this from our kids, our mentors, a commercial or billboard, possibly a loss or a gain, or an injury or a triumph. Possibly just in a moment shared quickly and innocently, with no real intent or purpose. Perspective is a great thing because it gives a chance to look at life in a partial or completely different way. That moment has done that for me.
“This… where I am” is what he was thinking about… and I have been so wrapped up in the past and the future that I had forgotten that the now is really all that is guaranteed. I didn’t know what was going to happen in the next 10 minutes, hour or six, but I knew where I was, was exactly where I wanted to be.
I was distracting my own experience. I was attempting to distract where I was because it’s all I know how to do. I now know I was trying to set myself up for both distraction and failure because I couldn’t just be in that moment. If I was in the moment, I was being vulnerable, open to rejection and disappointment. But really, all I had to do was accept the moment as it was and enjoy.
We thrive on distraction. Distraction lends us reason or excuse to avoid looking within to start doing the work that is needed to make our now moments fulfilling. I believe we still need to be forward thinking enough to ensure we have a roof over our head, food on the table and not turn into complete dicks, while living in the NOW, passionately, motivated and appreciative.
What moments have you passed by today? Have you smiled at that stranger on the sidewalk? Have you put your phone down and just enjoyed that moment with your kids? Have you let the feeling of the morning fog fall on your face while being so incredibly thankful for the day ahead of you?
I am certain these moments will lead to greater things for me now. Not wasted on guilt, worry or anticipated disappointment. I want to do better for me and my kids and sometimes that starts with a single look from a friend to remind you all you have is right now.