Being Present

Are you old enough to remember back when teachers took roll call every morning (Is that a thing these days?) where the teacher called out your name and you’d reply by saying “Present” and they’d tick your name off for the day. Being present meant you were there for the day, to learn the lessons and do the work; to pay attention.

But how many of us were truly “present” the entire time? Did our minds wander out of the classroom and onto other things?

I was guilty of that on many occasions, and more so as I aged, for my imagination had much more to offer than the reality of that stuffy classroom. I had no idea that all the thoughts that were freely flowing through my mind had anything to do with imagination. Imagination was something saved for the blank page during creative writing class–if only I had known.

Being and staying in the present moment is not an easy feat. It’s something that takes practice, and gentle reminders each time our mind meanders off into another direction. I think the ability to be truly present is far easier for small kids. I have only to watch my grandchildren at play to recognize that.

What does that have to do with anything now? Lately, I’ve been trying to stay in the present moment as often as I can. For a writer, this is doubly challenging, as our minds are often far away during the run of a day, when anything and everything that touches our senses can send us down the path of imagination. Sometimes, we only become present when we actually sit down to write.

For the past 42 years I’ve lived on our property beside Black Duck Lake. The leaves are absolutely gorgeous these days. I thought the other day of how many years I didn’t take the time to enjoy the colours and the quiet of the lake during the fall. Fall was always my busy time, but one I always proclaimed to be my favourite. Yet, if I had time to make it to the lake shore, there was always some purpose, the least of which was to admire the fall colours and just spend time being in the present moment, not thinking of what next had to be done, and enjoying the beauty of the surroundings.

But I’m attempting to make changes in the way I’ve done things in the past and, hopefully, finding and enjoying those present moments during my day will be part of it.

Staying in the present moment is not as easy as it sounds and not something that is realistic to expect one hundred present of the time. My aim, at the moment, is to enjoy as many present moments as I can and leave behind the worry of the day–past, present, and future.

Life is to be enjoyed.

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10 Comments

  1. Another heartfelt and genuine post. Beautifully expressed, Laura. Thanks for reminding us to be in the moment.

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    • Thanks, Cathy. So often, I catch myself thinking of the next thing I’m going to do or even reliving things in mu mind again and again. PS: I have learned that no matter how many times I rethink something, it doesn’t change the outcome! Thanks for visiting.

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  2. Lovely thoughts and scenery. I think as we retire or approach retirement we do try to live in the moment more. But it has its drawbacks. Two years ago I went to Canada to spend time with my family. I vowed to live in the moment and treasure every minute. As it happened, it was the last time I saw my mom so my plan was good. Except, my daughter called me two days before I was scheduled to visit her on the west coast. “So, mom, are you still coming to see me and when and where? Or are you just going to show up?” Yikes, I was living so much in the moment, I forgot to make arrangements with her, and she lives on an island, you can´t just show up! Me, the mom who is the super planner! We laughed about it later.

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    • That gave me a little chuckle as well! Thanks for sharing your story with us, Darlene. I guess that goes to prove that it is possible to live too much in the present moment. ❤

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  3. Oh my, how beautiful it is on Black Duck Lake! You are blessed to live there.

    Like my sentiments about social media mirror yours, “What has to be done next” is often on my mind, rather than being in the moment. Oh, how I am a work in progress! LOL

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    • Thanks, Laura. I found the leaves particularly colourful this year, although I noticed just today that many of the leaves are falling. It’s inevitable.

      I believe we are all a work in progress. There are always improvements we can make to our lives. Presently, my main goal is to welcome more peace into my life. Thanks for dropping in.

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  4. I think we all suffer from not being in the moment when we are busy raising kids, working towards security in a place to live and, as they call it, running the rat race. Once we pass through that phase, we have the opportunity to stop and admire the scenery. As I tell others, this is my time.

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    • There are definitely many bonuses to aging. I love that I have more opportunity to take notice of things that previously I felt I didn’t have time for.

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  5. Often, the teacher needed to call my name out as to refocus back to the lesson at hand. I got better in staying focused on the lesson. About staying in the moment, our furry critters excel in staying in the moment. They don’t have worries like we do. That’s bliss.

    Enjoy those colors. 🙂

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    • Thanks David! I am in awe of small kids and “furry critters” for having the ability to stay in the moment. I remember those times from childhood when we just played. Those times were the best. Too bad as we age many of us become too well versed in practicing the art of worry.

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