I live by a countdown. Waiting for the weekend or the next event, stuck in the never-ending cycle of wishing my days away and never being content in the here and now. I’m consistently robbing myself of the joy of today because I’m too busy worrying about the future or thinking that life will be better once something new happens.
I’m also extremely organized and detail-oriented, but I find myself looking back on days where it seems like I missed everything around me because I was too busy rushing to mark things off of my to-do list. My obsessive mind knows what, when, and how everything needs to get done and while everyone around me is enjoying themselves, I’m planning out my schedule for tomorrow and already stressing about how I’m going to get it all done.
I have a hard time figuring out how to just be.
At work, I’ve mastered the art of multi-tasking. I can be in a boardroom meeting on one topic while working on something completely unrelated and still actively contributing to the discussion. Look at me go – I’m getting things done.
But am I? I know we’re all busy trying to manage a thousand things at once and it’s coming from a heart that truly wants to do our job well. However, I’m cheating those in the meeting who are counting on me to be fully engaged in the discussion. I’m cheating myself for perhaps missing information that could’ve changed my opinion on the subject altogether. And I’m cheating the world when I go through life halfheartedly, never fully giving my talents and devotion to what I commit to.
This is why being present is so important, which simply means to be joyful in whatever you’re doing and grateful that you’re able to do it, fully appreciating the present moment. When you think about the grind of our daily routines, much of this is planning for the future and reflecting on the past. How much of the time are we truly engaged in what is happening right in front of us? How often are we actually experiencing being fully there, exactly where we are, doing exactly what we’re doing? We’re available but not present, barely making a dent into any sort of substance in our interactions with others, voiding ourselves of all that life has to offer.
As I head into a brand new week, I’m going to use these simple reminders from Kelly Exeter to guide me towards living my life with more intention, starting with being present.