Letters to myself: Living in the moment

Letters to myself: Living in the moment

Rumor has it that the only time which actually exists is the present. Is that philosophical? Is that a fact made to discourage me from dissecting the past and dreaming about the future? All I know is that pushing a fat guy through the eye of a needle is often easier for me than living in the moment. That’s not good.

If I start a diet tomorrow, by Christmas I’ll be fitting into my skinny jeans.

Ten years ago, I should have quit that job and gone back to school.

Remember when we used to meet every Saturday and run to the top? I loved those mornings.

I can’t wait until summer.

We all do it. It’s human nature. But I’ve taken up too much valuable time daydreaming, lamenting and evoking better days, when I should be experiencing what’s in front of me. Today is all I have. This moment is IT.

And yet, I’ve often been annoyed at those who advocate a carpe diem approach to life. Surely, it’s important to plan for the future and learn from past mistakes, yes? Yes. But when my husband and I speak of “killing time” with our children at the park instead of being involved in their play, something is wrong. When I’m sitting in a meeting envisioning my future success instead of listening to my boss, chances are there will be no fanciful career. Chances are, I could get fired for not paying attention.

Living in the present moment is not simply the right way to live; it’s the ONLY way to live. How we experience this reality is the issue. Like success in all areas of life, it requires discipline, and reminders. I’ve taken to slapping up mental Post-it notes in my head when I find myself recalling yesterday or anticipating tomorrow.

“Stay here.”
“Nothing is more important than this.”
“Be involved.”
“Stop. Do this thing.”
“If not now, when?”
“One moment at a time.”
“Feel this. Breathe.”
“This moment is my life.”
“Be aware.”

And, of course, “carpe diem”, because we should all seize the day.

– Althea


26 Responses to “Letters to myself: Living in the moment”
  1. Tricia says:

    This is all so true! Staying in the moment can be so tough. I love “this moment is my life” – if anything will bring a person back, it’s those words!
    Happy SITS day!
    Tricia recently posted…I live with a PrincessMy Profile

  2. Great post! I just wrote about this subject too. Seems like with all of our modern conveniences, we’d have more time to NOT be rushing around so much, but here we are more so than ever trying to stay present in the moment. I love the idea of intention and whomever I’m spending time with, I’ll try to remember to intend that I will make the moment pleasurable and memorable. Same thing with work–make it count, make it my best effort. I think with my mother’s passing at 7, it’s made me really treasure the time I have with my children. My divorce? I certainly treasure the time I have with my new husband. I think one of the keys is when you’re at work, bring your attention to work. At home, thoughts revolve around home. And I think meditation helps to train your brain into being still for longer periods of time.
    Nicole Nenninger recently posted…My Husband is Pretty Darn AwesomeMy Profile

  3. jamie@kreyv says:

    Great post, and such a great reminder. I definitely needed to hear that! Happy SITS Day!
    jamie@kreyv recently posted…What to Store. On a Door…My Profile

  4. Nellie says:

    You are so right! Living in the moment is so the only way to go, otherwise you can miss SO MUCH! Fantastic blog you have here, enjoy your day!
    Nellie recently posted…How To Make a Blog CommercialMy Profile

  5. Stephanie says:

    Awesome, and very true!
    Stephanie recently posted…Constantly in MotionMy Profile

  6. Happysuz says:

    Great post. I definitely need to remember to do this more. Especially with my daughter. They grow up so fast, you’ll miss the best parts if you are always wishing it away or “killing time.”
    Happy SITS Day.
    Happysuz recently posted…Doll Clothes Hanger TutorialMy Profile

  7. I love the notion of “seize the day.” Seizing is so much more proactive than just “being” in the day. I’m so glad I seized the chance to visit you from SITS! 🙂
    Lynn from For Love or Funny recently posted…Tadpoles taste like chickenMy Profile

  8. Kelly says:

    Living in the moment is so much easier said than done. I hate always thinking about everything except what I am doing right at that moment. I like this post and will use it as my inspiration for today. Happy SITS Day!
    Kelly recently posted…Vegan Mama in the Kitchen: Raisin & Cinnamon Mochi WafflesMy Profile

  9. I agree about living in the moment being so important. But, I am also a planner & list maker, so I do have to be planning at times too. A balance of both is perfect for me 🙂 Nice to find your blog today! Happy SITS day!
    Raquel @ Organized Island recently posted…Decorating PlantersMy Profile

  10. As a writer, staying in the moment is very important. If you don’t, you will give short shrift to your writing and the reader will miss out. Enjoy your SITS Day. Thanks for the reminder.
    Sheila Skillingstead recently posted…The rain didn’t endMy Profile

  11. Becky says:

    I struggle with staying in the moment, but know that it is important to try to do so. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and Happy SITS Day!
    Becky recently posted…Tuesday Greens #33My Profile

  12. Karma says:

    Great post! I am re-learning this in my life @fter suffering in an abusive relationship for 8 years! It’s been almost impossible for me to stay HERE NOW, because it seems I am forever telling myself that I haven’t afforded myself the time to enjoy the moment, since I, according to many, “wasted” my time for 8 years! But, the truth is, I was living in the moment back then, too!

    But, I am committed to moving forward, but in an authentic way, that will create something for others that come after me! That’s why I have my blog!

    Thanks for your post!

  13. Kristen says:

    I also really struggle to live in the moment. I’m always daydreaming about how things might be better in the future. Instead, I should actively working in the now to make sure things ARE better! Happy SITS Day!
    Kristen recently posted…The OFFICIAL wedding photosMy Profile

  14. Great post! I am totally guilty of that. Especially the part about summer. I do need to step back and enjoy the moment!
    Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness recently posted…End of Week Wrap Up & Sleep DeprivationMy Profile

  15. Adrienn says:

    I love this! Such a true post, and we can all use reminders to keep us here. Sadly, I spent most of my kids baby years looking forward to better days…my husband was laid off, we were financially struggling and I just became numb to everything. I feel like I missed out on so much just wishing it would be over. Sad but true…and now I try to stay in the moment, and it’s hard! But your tips are great! I love your “mind” post it notes. Happy SITS day!
    Adrienn recently posted…I hate field tripsMy Profile

  16. Bev says:

    Sometimes I feel like I’m of the queen of reminiscing about the past or looking forward to the future, but I think I have gotten about living in the moment during times when I am with people. I think a little bit of daydreaming or remember the past is good, but you don’t want to forget about that moment you are living right now. Happy SITS day!
    Bev recently posted…On Not Letting GoMy Profile

  17. misssrobin says:

    Seize the day — one of my favorites since watching Dead Poets Society many years ago. This moment matters. But it sure can be tough to stay in this moment. Thanks for the reminder.
    misssrobin recently posted…Tucked Safely Under My WingMy Profile

  18. Sydnie Kunz says:

    I’ve always believed that when you are having trouble being in the moment, there is probably something out of balance in your life. You need to take some time to reflect on what things in your life need attention and deal with them.

  19. karen says:

    love the post, so true, we do need to enjoy life and enjoy what we have.
    karen recently posted…Pasta Salad is NOT Dino FoodMy Profile

  20. Natalie says:

    Visiting from SITS!
    A good way to live – we do that so infrequently if at all!
    Thanks for the post, something to work towards 🙂
    Natalie recently posted…Book Review – The Housemaid’s DaughterMy Profile

  21. Happy SITS Day! Ever since a back surgery 2 years ago found me on a ventilator in Neuro ICU instead of going home the next day (it was a complicated surgery – they nicked my aorta and I almost died), I have been very much living in the moment. There is nothing like a “life or death” scare to “wake you up” and make you see the beauty of each day and how very much your life is full of blessings – and you want to savor each one.
    Kim @ {enjoy the view} recently posted…Top 10 Places To Eat in DestinMy Profile

  22. I strive to live in the moment and follow my intuition to lead me in what I need to do next. But those old behaviors rear their ugly head once in a while and the key is to be aware and awake.
    Rachel Lavern recently posted…Become Inner DrivenMy Profile

  23. Susi says:

    Happy SITS day. I often find myself wondering about this. About how I spent my time. How I should spend my time. And most importantly how to enjoy each and every moment with my kids. Thanks for the reminder.
    Susi recently posted…Pixlr Express Mobile App TutorialMy Profile

  24. Andrea says:

    This post can at the right time. I consider this an affirmation.
    Andrea recently posted…Life Is Like Stand-Up Improv – Can Someone Yell Scene Already?!?My Profile

  25. I read this and was inspired and then I was a little guilty =( I have to work on being in the moment with my daughter and to stop procrastinating about making healthy changes…
    Julia Jasmine Sta Romana recently posted…Why This Mommy Is Stealing Candy From a BabyMy Profile

  26. Laurie says:

    The most difficult thing to do, I think, the balance between staying in the moment and making all those plans for…Good post.