I was having cocktails with one of my best friends the other night, going on and on about that new Beyoncé documentary on Netflix… you know, the one that chronicles everything that went into that unforgettable Coachella performance, (the show that was sooooo worth the midweek sleep deprivation). Anyhow, halfway through talking about the Blue Ivy appearance, I noticed she wasn’t listening to a word I said… HELLO!! Beyoncé … Blue Ivy…personal stories from the Queen Bey. How rude. I knew I wasn’t boring her with my conversation, so why the hell was she not paying attention!? After calling her out on her daydreaming, she told me she was thinking about a work event coming up. Work vs Beyoncé, wow your priorities are off, but I actually could relate.
I have recently done some pretty awesome things (a trip, concert, adventures, events) … yet afterward there was no “that was amazing”, “what a great experience”, no jumping for joy as they each deserved. I realized it was because I was SO fixated on looking ahead or thinking about the past, that I wasn’t able to enjoy or take in what I was doing.
“Live in the moment” they say— It sounds simple enough, right? It also sounds like a super cheesy quote. But this slice of cheddar has really had me reflecting on life lately. I suppose something that comes naturally with age, or your mid-thirties, but what I’ve started to notice is how much I personally struggle with focusing on RIGHT now. Like even right now, instead of thinking about this blog, I am thinking about dinner, Thai Kitchen and pad thai… and cheese…
I love to plan and schedule and then stress over the plan and schedule. (It’s a sickness…I know.) I’m constantly planning for the next “big” thing, worrying, getting caught up in the stress, replaying moments of the past, thinking about the weekend, planning my next birthday party or vacay… It’s not easy living in the present, especially when the past and future keep harassing us. So pesky!
So it’s an issue— I admit it. Like my lovely gal pal, very often I am not taking in what is happening right in front of me or allowing it to make me happy. We also get so caught up in avoiding the danger or fear about what is in front of us, that we forget to just live. I think many of us are guilty of it, and what we fail to recognize is that looking too far back or forward can first of all really strain our neck, but it also keeps us distracted and affects our ability to fully live and enjoy the moment.
You know who is good at living in the now? Kids. All they care about is what is right in front of them- that new super awesome toy, ice cream, a pot and a pan… (and they don’t have those little evil devices we are fixated on 24/7). If only I could be more like my four year old niece.
The thing is (and this has started to hit home for me) is there is no guarantee on the number of moments we will get to experience. So how do we learn from the tiny humans in our lives about being more conscious of life as it happens? How do we make the most of now… even if now is not up to our expectations, or we continue to think too far ahead?
I really believe people can’t help themselves when it comes to planning. It’s second nature to us. I mean, from the second we wake up, we start planning- daily activities, work meetings, breakfast, dinner, what time gym class is; Then as the day carries on we start thinking about more long term plans- Do I have to save money for that upcoming girls trip? How do I make Brett Eldredge my boyfriend? What am I going to do to fit my butt into that xs bikini I ordered? Hmmmmmm. Big life plans.
So this spring, I have challenged myself to try to find a healthy balance between living in the moment and planning, because really, the moment we have RIGHT NOW is a gift, and we all love gifts! I’m trying not to focus on what’s next all the time, or thinking back to certain experiences and memories, because living in the now is about being aware of the moment we are in. If we’re constantly thinking of the past or future, how could we really be alive in the present… (oooh I love cheese). It’s about accepting the present for what it is and being happy regardless of yesterday or tomorrow.
Yes, still plan, invest in yourself, set those goals, but don’t forget about where you are right now and try to enjoy it. Force yourself to bloom, to move out of the past, but not too far ahead. Wherever you are, commit to being there completely and I’m sure life will take care of the rest.
Bay Awesome. Xo
(Photo by DZ Photography)