Life is comprised of a million unique little moments. In each moment of our lives, we make a sub-conscious decision – to live in the moment or not. It’s binary. Living in the moment means actively engaging in your senses and experiencing the present. Living in the moment means that you are neither dwelling on the past nor preoccupying yourself with the future. In short, you are either here or you are not. Unfortunately, I think I spend too much time – not.
Not living in the moment can play out in one of two ways, either you are living in the past or in the future. I never really had the tendency to live in the past. To me, what is done is done. I am much more interested in planning for the future. However, for me “planning for the future” is not always productive. Instead, often I find myself planning for the next moment rather than living in the current one. One small example of this is that I sometimes think about what I would like to make for dinner while I am having breakfast.
I think my tendency to preoccupy myself can be best summed up in my feelings towards baths. I do not like to take baths. While many friends say that taking a bath is relaxing and that they would love to have a large and elegant bathtub, I simply do not find pleasure in bathing. When one is taking a bath, the water is warm. However, the longer one sits in the bathtub the cooler the water gets. Of course, one could just add warmer water. However, if one adds warmer water that water will in time also become cooler. Sitting in a bathtub for someone who lives in the moment is a nice, luxurious, and relaxing experience. For me, however, sitting in a bathtub is wondering when I should begin to add warm water, how much, and for how long until I will inevitably have to get out into the cold air and drain the water all down anyway. Although in my head I am just “planning” this sort of mentality is not productive and can keep one from enjoying life to its fullest.
If you live in the moment, you can easily loose track of time. So often have I heard people excuse their tardiness with “oh sorry, time just slipped by!” I’m not sure what it is like for time to just “slip by.” Time is always there, I wear a watch, I’m positive about this one. When you are engaged in something, time is not a part of the experience. However, when you are distracted, time becomes a constant reminder that you are unfocused.
Dwelling on the past, living in the present, and preoccupying oneself with the future are all just patterns of behavior. The more we dwell, live, or worry, the more we are inclined to dwell, live, or worry. Life is nothing but a collection of moments. Let’s try to live in more of them.