“Are you listening to me?”
My husband’s eyes narrow,
and I have to admit…I’m not. His words have become background music,
while my mind has moved on to planning the rest of my day. My body was right
there, but my mind was somewhere in a galaxy far, far away.
Daydreaming is normal, but
there’s a time and a place for that. And it’s not while I’m supposed to be
engaged in conversation with my husband. Oops.
There’s another place where the mind/body disconnect happens to me. Church.
I’m sitting in the pew, with
my eyes on the deacon giving the sermon. From all outward appearances, I’m paying attention. But, again, I have
to admit it. My mind is weaving in and out of the words being spoken. One
minute I’m getting involved in the message, the next I’m imagining the future,
or regretting the past.
How silly is this? Why am I going back to times
where I was embarrassed or felt I could have done something better? I can’t
change it. The past is not a good neighborhood. I need to move out. Now. Here I
am, allowing myself to be tortured by a memory, while missing a message I need to hear.
(Not being unified in
body and mind is a gift that keeps on giving. Tomorrow I can obsess about what
a space cadet I was in church today.)
The other neighborhood I’ll
visit is the future. I have been in a group of people at a social event, and an off-hand comment triggers a thought about plans I have for next week.
My mind exits the building, reviewing the
plans for a coming celebration. “Do I have all the supplies I need? Will he like
the cake I ordered? I bet he’s going to get all kinds of great gifts!” Still
standing in that group of guests, I'm really miles away.
Now as I said before, there’s
a time and place to ponder plans for the party. But it’s not in a
group of partygoers. Fabricating scenes of triumph and cake can wait. I should
be enjoying myself, and the people around me. The future can wait.
I want to be more present in the current moment, so I’m really working on that these days. Living life fully means living life right now. Not in the 'old neighborhood' of the past or the 'new neighborhood' of the future. Figuring out how to manipulate my future, or stew about the past means I’m going to completely whiff on the ‘right now.’
Every new day is gift. Every new conversation is an opportunity to learn something new, or deepen a relationship. I don't want to miss out on that anymore.
So the next time my husband asks if I'm paying attention, I'll be able to say "Yes!" And the next time I'm sitting in that pew, I'll be all ears. Instead of being distracted, I'll be right there.
Right where I should be. In the moment.
The past should be a learning experience, not an
everlasting punishment. (Anon.)
Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because
tomorrow will worry about itself. (Matt 6:34)
You must live in the present, launch yourself on
every wave, find your eternity in each moment.
Labels: attention, body, future, mind, past