I was at a restaurant yesterday and a family walked in. The dad was holding a toddler, who was observing his surroundings with wide eager eyes. He looked at the ceiling, the walls, the people around him. As his dad focused on the menu, the toddler pointed to this thing or that, babbling with excitement and laughing to himself. I smiled as I kept my own eyes trained on the child, and then suddenly my eyes started to well up with tears. I wiped them away immediately before they could become a full blown crying fit, took a deep breath and tore my eyes away from the child.
What the heck? Why was I so “all in my emotions”? I just thought it was so amazing how the child was so full of wonderment. He looked so happy, so content to just be in the moment. He didn’t ask for permission. He didn’t care that I was staring at him. He didn’t care that he may have dribbled slob onto his shirt. He was just enjoying the moment.
Then I realized why I was so touched. My brain is always somewhere else. I can’t enjoy a moment b/c I’m too worried about how my hair or makeup looks or what someone may or may not be thinking or noticing about me. My to-do list is always swirling around my head or I’m always wondering, “Did I remember to _______?” “Oh, I forgot to _________”. I’m always thinking, “What’s next?” or what I have to do to be prepared for what’s next. I’m rarely just in the moment. Good grief! How stressful!
This little occurrence reminded me that I need to be conscious of the right here and now. Despite all the planning in the world, no one knows what the future holds. When I look back on my experiences, I’m sure I won’t say, “Oh, I’m sooo glad my hair looked nice.” I want to say, “I’m sooo glad I put all of myself into that experience. I had a blast and made some awesome memories.” So instead of worrying myself, I just need to be content with being exactly where I am right now and enjoy each moment as it comes—messed up hair and all.
How do you stay “in the moment”? Share in the comments.