Then and Now


beach and baby photos

The human psyche is so interesting to me. At the age of 52, I am in a phase where I find enormous value in being present. I want things to slow down. I don't want to jump too far ahead into the future or stay lodged in the past. Is it because I am aging? Is it because I am wiser and know that the “present” moment is truly a “present” or did I just read this off of a bumper sticker? I keep gravitating towards this concept and it keeps making more and more sense to me.

Think back when you were a kid. Nothing else mattered than the present moment. I remember being deeply entrenched in the activity at hand - sometimes comfortable, sometimes gut bustingly silly, sometimes dreadfully boring, sometimes blissfully still and benign - just being - staring into space unapologetically happy to be doing absolutely nothing! Who does that anymore? How could we entice ourselves to “go there” again? How would it impact our lives? Could we put our cell phones and laptops away to see what that may look like? Hmmmmmm.

When I was a young kid, I had a life and perspective that could no more predict what was to come than a seagull in the wind  - As a kid, you flew and navigated where you had to and wherever your heart guided you.  I can still remember the smells from the Long Island Sound’s sun-aged seaweed and the consistent sound the waves made as they melodically rolled the beach pebbles back and forth on the shore. I remember stepping on the night crawlers in wet fresh cut grass when we played hide and seek - a full body grotesque feeling  that made me want to cringe. I relished the effort of opening the hefty castle-like front door, taking not one adult step to enter but two or three kid steps just to make it into the foyer to be greeted by the expensive French soap aroma in the guest powder room. Why are our minds so acute and so present at that age? Life was simple according to our perspective that allowed for nothing more than present moment experiences to flood in and wrap their stories around our minds - some delicious and some otherwise, but regardless, they were all right there in that moment.

It seems my memories that are so sharp from those early years now seem more blurred and less crystal clear. I am ever craving to mimic that feeling again.  Today, I want to start making each moment a treasure, because, with our wisdom comes that knowledge, that our time here on planet earth is not a written script that necessarily gets us to those golden years. We get what we get. Tomorrow may look different and undoubtedly, it will be different.

What takes you to that place where nothing else matters? For me, it is surfing. When I am on that wave, I am not thinking about my relationships, my grocery list, my next pay check or when it comes. I am feeling the rush of air, the exhilaration of riding down green water - the grip of excitement.  I am so crystal clear in that present moment it connects me back to that childlike perspective. It’s actually addicting! I recommend it! Everyone should find that  “thing” that breaks that inevitable mindset that is lacking space - space to just be clear, simple and free of mind clutter. 

 


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