I declared that I would live only in the now for 30 days. This meant I could not think about the past or the future -- I would only focus on what was happening in the moment. Sounds easy, but what an awakening experience. If I started to think about how something went wrong in the past or worry about something in the future, I would stop myself and release the thought and get back to the present.
For as long as I can remember, I have been an obsessive planner. I love to make plans, to organize, to prepare. And I'm quite good at it, too. Long-term goals, schedules. These are things I like. A fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants girl, I am not. With my cancer diagnosis, a lot of things came crashing down around me.
I have been in a perpetual state of anxiety about the future. When I get those jeans, nab that boyfriend, lose those 10 pounds, learn that dance move, I will be happy. I have always had this sinking feeling that I was waiting for something to make my life perfect. But my life IS perfect. I have a life after all, and every single second is beautiful and precious and needs to be acknowledged and given great attention.
A dear stay-at-home mama friend of mine recently reflected on the idea of being "present," which got me thinking: am I present and in the moment with our children? And if so, is that really necessary? To be present in every moment? In order to find out, I challenged myself to be present all day, as a sort of experiment. I was present when I ruined my favourite shirt, when the kids were crying, when water spilled all over the kitchen. P.R.E.S.E.N.T.
Life is all about perspective, right? So with the goal of shifting perspectives in mind, I set out this warm sunlit evening to find a little piece of joy in nature so as to cast some perspective and illumination on an otherwise expensive ($2,200 worth of upcoming dental work), depressing (there goes the camper we were going to buy) and discouraging (I am wondering if false teeth are an option for a 38-year-old mother of four) day.