Monday, April 25, 2011

In the Moment

One thing you hear all the time but probably never appreciate or take seriously is the idea of "living in the moment."

I think we all believe that we live in the moment from time to time, but the reality is that we're always looking forward. We think about what work we have to do tomorrow, or what we're going to eat for dinner, or which video game we should play, or if we should call that pretty girl from the party last weekend, or what we should do this weekend, or a thousand other ways we think we'll be happy in the future.

I know I'm as guilty of it as anyone. For 99% of my life, I'm thinking about how much better things would be if I were (thinner/more motivated/more focused), and I spend every waking moment thinking through every possible contingency for every little decision I want to make. If I go to this party, who will be there? What other events will I be missing out on? How will I feel the next day? Can I still stay below my calorie goals? I may be a little more introspective than most, but I'm sure a lot of you can relate to my whirlwind of thought.

The reason I bring this up is that last night, for the first time in I don't know how long, I had a moment that I just lived in. I had left my house for an evening walk, and I came to a T in the sidewalk where I had to decide which way to go. I looked left, then right, and back again, and I took a deep breath. I started to just look around, and I remember distinctly thinking to myself, "This is nice."

There was nothing particularly noteworthy about the situation or the scenery; if anything, it was a little drab and wet. But for a few seconds, I just stood there, not thinking about which way would be better for my walk, not thinking about anything, just relishing the moment for the sake of relishing. It was probably the happiest I've felt in a decade, albeit brief.

I've got to chase that feeling.

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