Living In The Moment.
Living in the moment can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people I suspect. To me I guess it means being truly present in what you're doing, about appreciating what you have in front of you and also appreciating life is short and the moment is important.
As a family and as I'm sure like most families we have experienced loss and I think for a short time at least it makes you stop and take stock and think. It makes you really think about yourself. about your problems, about what's important to you and what's not. I think when you experience loss or something dynamic in a family or a friendship group or a relationship you DO live in the moment - but it never seems to last.
Life moves on, things go back to normal somewhat, day to day chores and arguments and nit picking resumes and you forget how you felt. I feel like very few of us hang on to that feeling and truly live in that moment.
I am definitely guilty of it. Sometimes I'll read something that really hits home in a book or something, something that immediately makes me think of the ones I love and what would I do without them. It makes me vow to treat them better, to tell them how much I love them, to stop picking at them and nagging. It makes me vow to live in the moment more and appreciate everything more.
But what always happens is that feeling stays for a day or maybe two, and then whadda ya know, real life comes creeping back in again doesn't it? Someone annoys you by leaving the dishes out and you start whining again. A family blow out results in you all not talking for a week again. Life comes back to bite you and you hold grudges and you stress about money and chores and work gets you down and living in the moment doesn't seem to be a priority anymore.
I've been feeling it more and more of late, feeling more and more like I'm never in the moment. I'm always waiting for the next fresh start, waiting for the next set of plans I have, feeling like I never truly appreciate what I'm doing or appreciate life and those around me. When I think of moments I felt truly present of late it's times I was engaged with other people doing something that took me out of my norm. The escape rooms I did on Thursday night are obviously a very immersive experience and you forget where you are and what you're doing in your own life and all I was concentrating on what was was happening and the 3 people in the room with me.
The other one is the bloggers weekend away. I was itching to get away from home, get away from family life and the day to day of living and get to somewhere completely remote and just forget about everything and it was exactly the break I needed. I left my phone in the corner of the barn that I didn't have signal in and didn't contact my family whilst I was there and I just felt like I was truly living in that moment, with those girls, I was just focusing on me.
Those are the moments I need to appreciate more and I think this post reads quite a lot like; I need to get away from my family. And that's not true at all, I'm a family orientated person to a fault and they're my life and very important to me, we're very close and that's important to me. But as I increase in age I also increase in responsibility and of late, the past few years my responsibilities in the family have increased to peace keeper, to chief organiser, to therapist, to counsellor, to childcare, to accounts manager to everything. All roles I didn't ask to have but all roles I have taken on and tbf my head is fried. I feel like I am switched on every second of the day but never really present in enjoying myself or living in the moment.
I want to look above and beyond silly little arguments, I want to realise what's important and what's not. I don't want to hold grudges and I don't want to feel resentment. I know what's the bigger picture, I feel like as time goes on I see it more and more clearly and I can see what in the grand scheme of things is a tiny problem and what really isn't the end of the world. People always have bigger problems than what we're facing. We're privileged in a way we don't really appreciate I'm sure of that and I feel like living in the moment more would make me a much happier person.
Looking back on the year 9 months down the line I can already see what memories I am going to take away from it and along with the shit there's also the living in the moment ones. There's the weekends away, there's the belly laughs, there's a snapshot of me carrying my niece across the road or having her asleep on my lap. I can see that the 'living in the moment' memories are the happiest of this year and the ones that fill me with a feeling. You know the type of feeling you can't describe but maybe it's a bit like butterflies but you know whatever it is is a fraction of the presence you felt when you were living it for the first time?
So for the last few months of the year I want to tap into the feeling I have now - the feeling that living in the moment and being truly present is of greater and greater significance to me. I'm going to say fuck it more and book more trips to spend time with the people I love. I'm going to spend my birthday how I want and create new memories. I'm going to spend time with my family and still take time for me.
And I don't mean be 'present' as in not take photos or spend time blogging or online or on social media because I think you can be truly present with those things too. Some of the 'living in the moment' memories of this year come technology too. From looking up from the floor of the party barn and seeing my blog squad all at impossible angles to get the right shot. From the morning I woke up in North Devon and realised I'd been shortlisted for the Blogosphere Awards and Joss was still asleep next to me and I couldn't scream to anyone but Twitter. To silently shaking with laughter when everyone else was silent over something the girls said on Whatsapp.
No, being truly present and living in the moment can't be defined or quantified - it just means switching off from the drama and nit picking and the laundry you haven't done or what Donald Trump has said this time. It means appreciating, remembering how small in the world you are, how tiny your problems might be to others. It means thinking of all the things you'd want to say if your nearest and dearest weren't there anymore and then just saying them because they are here. It means letting go of grudges and family feuds and friendship drama or the boy that's ghosting you and realising life is SO much bigger and just needs to be lived.