The Present is a Gift | 123Read&Write

Educational blog entry about living in the moment; to appreciate your experiences in the present.

The present is a "present" . . . it's a gift. Gifts are something to appreciate, to cherish, and to be enjoyed. When we start to struggle in our day, many times it's our minds getting the best of us, making us think of things that have already happened (which are over now, move on); or have us lamenting on things that haven't happened, yet causing anxious feelings. It's an almost certain guarantee that the more you're able to live your life in the present moment, the happier you'll be. Unknowns (future) and guilts (past) are sure-fire ways to destroy your workday and your well-being. The present is where you can live in the moment. It's cliche, but tomorrow is no guarantee, and you're not getting yesterday back, so what's the point in concerning yourself over either? The effects can  be devastating. Let's try an at home example.

You get home from work, tired of course. Your child comes home from school full of energy . . . ready to go outside and shoot some hoops with you. 

STOP! This is the present. If you dropped everything right here, all would be well. But, here come the excuses: I have to start dinner. I have papers to grade. I have to call (insert name here). I have to check my emails, etc. It could go on and on. In our heads, we're probably saying "once" I finish prepping dinner, or "after" I call so and so . . . but, that is not enjoying nor living in the present. How about . . .

1. not prepping dinner and having a cereal night . . . the kids will enjoy it more anyway.

2. calling so and so after you've played a game of "around the world".

Now let's try a workday scenario.

You're in the middle of delivering a riveting lesson plan about the importance of the Battle of Gettysburg. The students are actually interested in what you're presenting. However, midway into the lesson, you start to mentally think about a meeting you've been dreading after school. You have no clue as to why you've been called to this meeting, except the vague email you received during your lunch period. As the "future" meeting (which you can do nothing about) plays out in your head, you're losing the present importance . . . teaching your students. As your future concerns play out in your head, your lesson starts to stumble, your thoughts become confused, and within a couple of minutes, you've lost the attention of your students. 

The best thing about living in the present for me is that it admonishes the guilt factor. If I don't play with my kids and just concern myself about past things or perceived future things, I not only feel guilty for not playing with them; I'm also a more stressed individual by going out of the present. Again, the past is done. That's a day you're never getting back, and that's alright. Remember it fondly or learn from it and move on. Tomorrow is not a guarantee, so enjoy the present that you've been given. There are two song lyrics I look to when I start forgetting this concept. One is by Van Zant "If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans"; the other is by the greatest songwriter of all time (in my opinion), John Lennon who writes in Beautiful Boy "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans". 

What you truly have is what you are experiencing right now. Take that "present", open it and learn to appreciate the moment while it lasts.