Living in the Moment

“Enjoy yourself.  It’s later than you think.” ~Chinese Proverb

I was eating breakfast with a friend a few days ago. The sun was shining, the birds chirping and sitting in front of me was a stack of delicious chocolate chip pancakes. It sounded like the good start of a gorgeous fall weekend but inside, I was a hot mess. My brain wandered from thought to thought, thinking about things like bills, the upcoming holiday season and the random mosquito bites that magically appeared on my legs. I tried my hardest to snap back to that moment I was in, being with loving company and about to chow down on some deliciousness my diet doesn’t allow. Why was I so upset and frustrated?

I’ve learned a great lesson from watching my cats, Mobile and Birmingham. They stare happily outside my apartment windows, looking at sparrows and passerbys and cuddle together in a cute heap for a long nap. It’s the joys of being a feline, a life without any human worries but they are happy just to lay in a secret corner or being randomly petted (for being so damn adorable). They are so enwrapped with being in the moment, without a concern about being fed or brushed and have their nails clipped. I’ve heard from countless individuals (Hi, Dad!) that being in the moment is the way to a happy existence. Why’s being in the present moment so important, I ask them? You’re more positive and calm, more open minded and at rest with yourself. But there are so much to stress about, too many things to get done. But if you can’t stop and enjoy those rare chances when we get to just be, when can you? Walking hand-in-hand with a delightful three-year-old. Having solo dance parties in your bathroom at four in the morning. Snuggling next to a warm body sans covers. These are the things I think about. Yes, my student loan payments will be there. I will be conscious about paying them off but I’m not going to let the $60 dollars out of each paycheck bring down my spirits. I rather just spend my day worrying about what characters gets offed next in the novel I’m reading (is that something to even worry about?).

But who am I to say such things? I get into more awful funks than I’d like to admit, just ask my roommate. So, my challenge for you and me this week, dear reader, is this: Stop thinking (it’s hard to do, I know, but it can be accomplished) and do something that you enjoy, whether its riding your bike with your best bud to park to play freeze tag (without getting doored, please) or simply spending some time in front of the television with a carton of Ben and Jerry’s. Punch yourself hard in the leg (nothing says present moment like pain) or go play in the downpour outside. Soak up my sudden positivity for yourself. This activity doesn’t have to last for hours or even days; just a few minutes. Then, see how your heart feels. If you are anything like me, I hope that you feel radiance and self-love and some sort of appreciation for your life, taking in that sole moment just to be you and nothing else. No stress. No worries. No thoughts at all, positive or negative. Just amazing you. We are given so few of these moments so why not enjoy them as much as possible?