Staying in the Moment

Have you ever driven across town to a familiar destination and when you arrived, you realized you were on autopilot and really don’t even remember driving?

How many times have you said things like, “Time flies!” or “That seems like it was just yesterday!”?

My youngest has a birthday this week. I ask myself… How is Alexis turning 19 years-old?! My oldest turns 21 just around the corner. Where have these two decades gone?

Although there are days when the kids and I are at each other likes bucks in rut and I think fast forwarding through the next few early-adulthood-angst years would be nice… for the most part, I just want time to slow down. I don’t want to wake up next year and wonder what I spent the last 365 days doing (and honestly, not being able to remember unless I scroll through my phone’s photo album).

Jeremy Camp has a song, “Keep Me in the Moment” that is my mantra lately. He sings, “I’ve been thinking ’bout time… and where does it go? How can I stop my life from passing me by?”. YES! How do I get my life to stop passing me by?

I don’t want to just survive the moments I have here. Jeremy goes on to say, “All I got is one shot, one try. One go around in this beautiful life…” A few years back, YOLO was a popular saying. I think the ‘You Only Live Once’ motto was abused by some people and used as justification to doing some really stupid and dangerous things. But the premise is precious. I will only live once. You will only live once. What are we doing with this one life? And if the quick inventory of our life’s activities point to good stuff… are we really even paying attention to it all? Or just posting the boast on Facebook and adding it to our internal self-confidence-boosting accomplishment list??

In any given moment, we can be multi-tasking several thoughts and activities, we can be harboring anger or hurt or regret from our past, we can be planning or worrying about our future. Trying to balance all that, while your toddler is tugging at your shirt trying to show you the block house they just made with their fat adorable fingers? You miss the beauty in that house. You don’t absorb the slur that precious baby has that will soon go away. We cannot be in the moment and in the past and future at the same time. We may be capable of doing a million things at one time… but we can’t absorb and enjoy each of those things at one time.

I am making a deal with myself. I may not get as much done. My to-do list may never be completed (wait… that’s already the case!). My promise to myself and to the God that has granted me each moment I have on this earth… is to do my best to stay in each moment. To listen to the birds sing. To acknowledge the warmth the sun lays on my skin. To breathe deeply. To stop making my bed when my teenager is telling me about her crazy co-workers. To have eye contact with my husband when he’s telling me about his latest fishing trip. To give my attention to the things that matter and to take the time to appreciate the little blessings that are planted in my life EVERY day; EVERY hour; EVERY minute. It’s a big promise. I will fail. Especially based on my track record of Go-Go-Go. The best I can do is to try. And keep trying, until my moments are gone.

I got acupuncture the other day when I was tied up tight; wound up like a ball of twine. The doc stuck me a bunch of times, turned on a guided meditation telling me how to breath, and left the room. I started crying. I wasn’t sad. It was a release. I was welcomed into that moment and it forced me to let go of all the other burden I was carrying. It was amazing.

If life was all about how much we could do… we wouldn’t savor steak dinners… we’d eat dehydrated-steak-in-a-pill. Barbecued steak, baked potato with green onion, sauteed prawns, and a glass of sweet wine… it’s an experience. Life is meant to be an experience. A rich experience… if only we’d stop to embrace it.

My plea is spoken so clearly in Jeremy’s song… “Keep me in the moment. Help me live my eyes wide open”

Cheers to this moment. The only moment that matters.