There is a lot written today about ‘being present.’ It can be a deep philosophical concept or just a cliché. If you’re not a monk living in the wilderness, how do you actually live in the present? The focus of this idea is that we can attain much more happiness in our lives if we stay out of the past and the future and live in the now. We may habitually spend time thinking about the failures of yesterdays, and certainly we spend time anticipating the future. Regret (yesterday) and worry (tomorrow) are not our friends. Louise Thompson in her blog says, “Being present is having my mind completely engaged and appreciatively connecting with wherever my body is at that point, and not trying to be thinking about whatever I want to do NEXT but be fully in the NOW of what’s going on IN THAT MOMENT.”
As we grow older, I think this concept is vitally important. It has a very practical application. How many falls could be avoided if we were living in the present? Slowing down and thinking, "I am going down the stairs and I need to pay attention to these stairs and my feet right now." It’s possible to avoid a terrible accident. How many items that are "lost" could be found if we were living in the present? When I take my glasses off to go do another task, I have no idea where I left them because I was off in my mind to the new task! So many times, we are introduced to someone new and we want to remember them. They say their name and we are so busy getting ready to say our own name, we never really hear what they say. It’s not that our memory is failing, it is that we weren’t present when they spoke to us. You didn’t forget; you weren’t present at that moment. Part of living in the moment is just slowing down, and that’s a positive attribute of living longer. The old adage to "stop and smell the roses" is good advice; beyond enjoying the beauty of our lives, it could save us a great deal of frustration. Join the conversation on Facebook at Just Now Old Enough.