life, thoughts

Missing the Moment

We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand . . . and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it is too late. ~ Marie Beynon

So, I was sitting outside on the deck with my dog by my side. The heat had broken overnight with a front that came through, and I was enjoying the dry, mild morning. I only had about 20 minutes to spare, but I wanted to breathe deep and soak in the moment.

Instead, this is kind of like what happened.

I wasn’t necessarily thinking about what this guy was thinking of, but my mind wandered. Since it was Friday, I thought about the errands I needed to run over the weekend. I also thought about my upcoming plans to get together with family.

Then, I reminded myself … be present. Listen to the birds sing. Pay attention to the powder blue sky, the comfort of the milder air, the smell of fresh cut grass.

Someone drove by with their car radio playing, and my mind wandered again. I flashed back to my teenage years. It was summertime, and  I was driving with the windows open blaring Boston. Then my thoughts drifted to memories of Memorial Day barbecues with my parents and grandparents. Fourth of July fireworks with friends. Vienna hotdogs on a picnic at the forest preserve. Although they were nice memories, I still wasn’t in the present moment.

I again reminded myself to focus, but then my mind drifted to this thought, hey, this is a good idea for a blog post.

I can’t help but wonder why there is such a struggle to stay present. Perhaps because responsibilities tend to get in the way? I don’t know. What I do know, is that I had twenty minutes to relax in the moment and I was missing out on the perfect day. My mind wouldn’t remain focused.

I discovered that not staying focused doesn’t just apply to  quiet times of meditation. I go through my days, shopping, doing laundry, cooking, etc., with my mind not really fully focused on the moment and what I’m doing. Just yesterday, I was putting away clean glasses into a cabinet. My mind wasn’t on what I was doing. I didn’t notice that my hand was too close to another open cabinet and I smashed the glass against it by accident. It broke in my hand (no cuts thankfully). It was a wine glass to boot. Even when I write, I’m continually distracted. I wish I knew of a way to stay present and stop missing each precious moment.

Is it just me?


17 thoughts on “Missing the Moment”

  1. I really enjoyed this post as it described exactly how I behave. I find it so difficult to switch off and be in the moment. I am hopeless at meditation – when someone tells me to empty my mind, it immediately fills with stories, thoughts, ideas and anxieties.

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    1. I know what you mean. Even when I’m trying to send positive thoughts (praying) to others in need, I start thinking about them and worrying.

      It’s nice to find that we are not alone, although it would be nice if we could quiet our minds. 🙂

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  2. I love the picture of the man and the dog…. No, it’s not just you. My internal monologue drives me mad, especially on holiday in a place I know I might not return to. I have to tell it to shut up. Thoughts flit in and out, of work, my problems and annoyances; all sorts. I sometimes envisage a slamming door (1,2,3 and then a huge door slamming on that thought). It occasionally works. Other times I give myself seven seconds to think about something, then banish it. It’s so hard to concentrate only on the moment. Just as multi-tasking at work has been shown to be bad for us, I imagine that multi-thinking might be, too. But such is the nature of modern living…. unfortunately.

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    1. I really like your ideas on clearing the mind. You reminded me of one I used to use and haven’t tried in a long time. I imagined someone I trusted holding onto my concerns and thoughts while I took a break for a bit to clear my head. If a thought popped back in, I’d imagine that person taking it back until I was done with my head clearing.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience on this, DS.

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  3. I think part of it is the world we live in now. Our “smart” devices are constantly grabbing our attention, the news cycle is in a state of acute chaos, so it makes it hard to clear our minds even for a few minutes. It’s a good reminder for all of us to keep trying, our pets have the right idea!

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    1. So true about our devices and news cycle. Maybe focusing on our pets in quiet time would help clear our minds? Doubtful, but they are certainly a good example to follow. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Joy.


  4. It’s not just you. I suffer from this too. I often wonder if it’s a result of being busier as we get older (work, family, commitments) or just our aging brains. Or maybe it’s our exposure to the digital world. Technology has been shown to change the way our neurons connect and function. Or maybe it’s a combination of all three. Either way I need to constantly remind myself to remain in the present.

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    1. Yeah, I did mention that it could be the responsibilities of life. But, I think you’re right, it’s a combination of three things. When I posted about my low carb diet, someone mentioned for me to be inn the moment as I eat. Think about the flavors and savor it, and that it might help me with my cravings. I realized, I’m not even in the moment when eating! Thanks for sharing that I’m not alone, Carrie. ❤

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  5. No, it’s definitely not just you, Lori. Lately, I’ve struggled with staying in the moment. For me, I think it’s the distractions of social media, family health issues, day job, contract deadlines, and a host of other daily tasks that need to be done. This is why I don’t have an iPhone…I’d probably be in worse shape! LOL!

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    1. Yeah, I figured it’s the responsibilities of life. And like you said, these days we have social media to distract us as well. I don’t have an iPhone either. I have a Smart Phone, but it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the iPhone. Thanks for sharing that I’m not alone, Jill. ❤


  6. I thought I’m alone in this! However, I think that’s why women, are able to multitask. See, you even got a post out of your multitasking. That being said, I do think we can train our minds to be quiet and ‘stay in the moment’ when we want it to. I think it takes practice, but it’s kinda hard to do. See? I’m even contradicting myself!

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  7. It’s good to be able to let go of so many thoughts buzzing through our head at times, but often we need to be able to multi-task and think of many different things at once. I suppose the trick is to separate the times when each is needed. I find that I have trouble letting go of too many thoughts when I want to go to sleep. Need to work on that!

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