Living in the Moment

Living in the Moment

“I LIKE SOMEONE WHO EMBRACES LIFE; WHO WANTS TO BE ON A LONG JOURNEY BUT HAS NO PARTICULAR PLAN OR DESTINATION IN MIND. AN ADVENTUROUS MAN, OPEN TO LIVING LIFE IN THE MOMENT.” ––Jill Hennessy, actress

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At risk of fully embarrassing myself and the guy I am dating, I must disclose that I find myself entertained with a gentleman who my sister, Tammy, introduced me to a month ago. (It is ok to be shocked, I don’t quite believe it myself.) Most recent hashtags consist of things like:

#IcouldGetUsedToThis
#AnotherGreatDate
#ThisDatingStuffIsSoFun
#NonfictionIsWayBetter
#ICouldntWriteThisStuff
#SoThisIsHowItFeels

Ya, I’m kind of having fun with him. We have really enjoyed our time together and all my friends have commented on the light in my eyes or watched the tears roll down my face as I laugh hysterically at a text he sent me. Any single divorced woman of eight and thirty can’t help but wonder, where will this––I mean, really, who doesn’t–– go? I usually stop myself long before I come up with any substantial possibilities, but in the moments when I do let myself wonder about how it will all end, I find myself quite anxious. Why? I’ll tell you.

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Wanting to know how it will all end this early in the relationship is like skipping to the end of a book and missing all the tender moments that lead up to the happily-ever-after. I desperately want to take it page by page. In reading, isn’t the beginning just as important as chapter 3 where the foreshadowing starts? Or how about chapter 6 when the hero’s imperfections begin to evolve because he hopes to win the heroine’s heart. What about that first time their hands touch? Would you really want to miss that? I can’t imagine skipping chapter 8, the ballroom scene, when he overcomes his anxiety and takes that bold step and asks for a second set. Then you wonder about how the book would not be complete without that walk that turned disastrous due to being caught in the rain, because that is when her heart beats wildly in her chest for the first time. In chapter 15 our hearts want to shout just how excited we are that she finally saw the true character of the man she had not truly appreciated until that moment. And a few pages later we see just how he brings out the best in her. Would we really want to skip that moment when we think it will all be ruined unless someone humbles themselves and apologizes? By this time in the book we are so invested in reading to the next step that it is unconscionable to skip the scene when he throws his pride aside and travels two days to make things right because that is when that long awaited kiss occurs.

My point is that each and every step, each page of life, is a buildup to the next step and we cannot deny ourselves the journey by predicting the end of the book. We should live in the moment and not worry about what was in our past or fear what might happen in our future.

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There is an old adage that says, “The past is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why they call it the present.” No one knows how our life’s book will end, but if we are consumed with predictions or fear for what is to come, we will miss the most important part: the journey. The here and now is so much more important than the destination. Our only goal should be, are we better today than yesterday? Each step on the path can change the content in the epilogue.

But this correlates more than to reading, writing, or my sorry love life. It has to do with realizing the value of the second and the minute compared to the year. Take a moment and think about your last interaction with you mom. Or maybe it was the moment when your dog begged your attention. At any given moment, the opportunity to seize the day and create lasting memories, (memories that if compiled could create the most diverting book), was upon you, and you were given the choice to capture it forever or let it pass you by. In a single day, you could have hundreds of opportunities to write the next scene in your book of life. Did you live in the moment?

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I heard a thought that makes my point in five short words: presence is the best present. Be present in your life. Do not let the past restrict your potential. Do not let the future, be it destiny, or karma, or how the stars are aligned, or some other cosmic force tell you the end of your story. Live your life day by day and celebrate each page of your book. That is how it should be. That is how you create a classic life story that is sure to be a bestseller. I can tell you, if I you live your life in the moment, I’d buy your book. This blog has gotten rather long and I could probably go on, but really, Pooh says it best:

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I am giving away a book of your choice of my three published works (Mr. Darcy’s Promise, Pride and Persistence, and To Refine Like Silver) to one lucky winner. All you have to dgiveaway colorso is comment below on the blog or tell me about a time you lived in the moment and how it changed the epilogue of your life’s book.

 

32 Responses to Living in the Moment

  1. Lovely! So much wisdom from such a youngun’ 🙂 Even this old gal is being enlightened. Thanks!

    And best of luck with the new man. I have been married for nearly 30 years, but can still recall the mixed joy and anxiety of the dating game. He sounds like a keeper!

    • Thanks Sharon! I realized this week that in May I will have an adult child! Somehow that makes me sound terribly old! So I appreciate the comment about being young. I feel like I’ve lived lifetimes already and graduated a few times from the school of hard knocks. Congrats on the marriage! Keep working at it and you will have 30 more!

  2. This is a great post, Jeanna!

    It can be easier said than done to only focus on the Present tho’, and not let the Past or Future interfere — especially our thoughts and programs from the past. Your blog brings to mind Lester Levenson and how he teaches us to let go of wanting approval, wanting control (wanting to change things) and wanting to be safe and secure. We need to stop and look at the thought, as everything we do is motivated by wanting approval or control, because we want to be safe and we fear dying. And if we can acknowledge and let go of the Want, we feel closer to our True Self and more in the Present.

    — Just one of Lester’s quotes —

    “Every time you feel restless or unhappy, there is ego
    desire behind it. If you can get it up into view, you’ll let
    go of it with a chuckle. It’s an opportunity to let go of
    something that’s running you. Look for the egomotivated
    desire and when you see it, let go of it and
    immediately feel lighter and happier.”

    • I love the discussion this blog has created. I am very impressed with the insight you have given me. Lovely quote. I struggle with letting go of control but know if I had the good support of a man then I would willingly share our burdens. Thanks for commenting! Good luck in the giveaway!

    • Thank you Rebecca! I agree that too many years went by in enduring mode instead of sa print the moment. But I will not regret those regrets since that is just repeating the mistake. I grew from them and although they were full of angst it made for an even more important resolution. I can’t say I’m an expert at living in the moment but I have definitely gotten better over the last few years

  3. Thanks for your wonderful wonderful post, Jeanna!!!
    Knowing you, even from the title I knew this was going to be uplifting, optimistic, wonderful, full of joy and embracing life – and it’s all that and more!
    Thanks for sharing it with us! Be happy & enjoy your beautiful story as it unfolds. Hugs 🙂

    • Thank you Joana! Your words are always so kind and sweet. I hope everyone takes my words as well as my friends! 😉 it is hard not to be optimistic when life gives you so many tender moments. You just have to acknowledge each and every one for what it is.

    • Thank you Diana! (Glad you got my name right! Jean-na right?) even gladder that you enjoyed what I wrote! It truly is one of my favorite blog posts I’ve done.

  4. What a lovely reminder that we are not promised tomorrow and need to cherish the day we have before us. I think I shall be smiling all day long! Thank you, Jeanna.

    • I can’t say how beautiful those words are to me. We are definitely NOT PROMISED TOMORROW! I see this a lot as a nurse but even in our personal lives we need to take the moment and tell our kids how special they are. I hope you really did smile all day! Your post made me smile too!

  5. <3 THIS. This is the second time today I have read something pertaining to what you wrote. Guess I need to be "ok with not knowing." Thanks! 🙂

    • Well if you found something like this twice, I would say head the message for sure. It is true that we all want to know how it will all work out but sometimes we lose the here and now by focusing on later. So glad you liked this.

  6. Your uplifting and inspiring post started my day off beautifully. I was entranced and completely enthralled with your thoughts and philosophy. It resonated with me greatly and is so important to follow. In life, which is fleeting and short it is necessary to treasure each and everyday since they are all so meaningful and special. Thank you for this wonderful and thoughtful post which I will ponder all day and cherish.

    • You are very welcome! It seems several people besides me needed to hear this message. I will admit i’m rather selfish and only blog about what I want to or need to and this was one of those times I “needed” to blog about it. Blogging is sometimes my form of journaling and making sense of what is going on in my life or writing. Words like “uplifting: or “inspiring” or “entranced” are like special gifts to me. Thank you for your kind words. Glad you found meaning in something that I did too.

  7. Jeanna, your words are so inspiring. Kind of a Lizzy philosophy if you ask me. Thanks so much for sharing. We can all use a reminder every now and then. ~Jen Red~

    • Thanks Jennifer! What a great compliment! Can’t think of one that could have been sweeter! I know I for sure needed a reminder. Usually my blog posts are just that! – reminders for me or something that opened my eyes
      Jeanna

  8. Oh my, I don’t often have time to read or check AA out in the mornings, but this morning I was blessed with a wonderful reminder to “Live in the Present”. Thank you. We owe it to ourselves and the ones we are with. Life goes by so fast, I don’t want to miss anything! 🙂

    • That is so true! I have no doubt that life is moving faster and faster too! I’m not quite 40 but already I feel like I am on the downhill slide and the momentum has taken on a life of its own.

  9. For me it was when I was visiting family in Germany. I had been dating this guy and while I was there and he was in the US we spoke almost daily. (What a phone bill he had!). He became despondent at being apart (at this point 6 weeks with another 3 to go). I changed my plane ticket and got home 2 weeks early. His mother was relieved I was back; he had been unlivable. A week later we were engaged. We have now been marries for 27 years.

    • You are welcome Barbara! I can’t say I’m a font of wisdom but occasionally thinks motivate me. This was just one of those times. Coming from an author, I am so pleased to know it was beautifully expressed. I’ll take all the blessings I can get! 🙂

  10. This is so true. I can’t think of a specific time but I do try not to think of the What ifs or What may be and enjoy the What is. Thank you for the offer of a giveaway, if I am lucky enough to win I would like To Refine Like Silver please as I already have the other two.

    • What if or what could have been or what should be is not anything that we can touch right now. But the here and now is very tangible and as moldable as clay. What will you make with each day? Good luck in the giveaway!

  11. For me, that day came many years ago. I was in my second year at University and I’d been dating a guy for around six months. We had an almighty row one night and I said I didn’t want to see him again. I didn’t sleep that night. Next day he came round to my place looking dreadful as he hadn’t slept either. We talked for ages and in the end, we decided to try again, no strings attached.

    Epilogue:
    We’ll be celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary this year.

    • That makes me so happy to hear how you worked it out! 38 years!!! Congratulations! It is never easy and I’m sure you had several rows since then but you pulled together instead of pulling away, You didn’t let the moment pass you by! Great job!

Your thoughts are precious!