I was hanging out with my boys at my favourite “feel just right” place – the river banks, and after a couple of hours of just the three of us, a little boy comes there and starts drawing a rather intricate something in the sand. A lot of work. Very close to the water. Where the waves from boats passing by come and dance, erasing everything and carrying sticks and rocks into the river. So I almost felt like telling him that the drawing might not last, thinking he’ll be disappointed if the water erased it. And I didn’t. Because he was so focused on drawing and he was enjoying it so much, it almost seemed sacrilegious to do so. And then it made sense. He wasn’t thinking that his drawing should last, and most likely he wasn’t planning on maybe coming back tomorrow to see if it was still intact. He was immersed in the moment, savouring every second and enjoying playing in the sand. There was no worrying about anything else. He was happy. Just like most of us when we were kids and doing just that: living the moment. But we’re adults now and somehow we forgot to do that.
Now of course adulthood is a bit of a complicated business. Try as we may, we cannot ignore that planning for the future and thinking ahead are necessary skills we adults have to develop as we go or else. Even more so when we become parents. It’s called responsibility. And it’s part of life.
But here is an exercise you may want to try occasionally: Live in the moment. Immerse yourself in that moment and sing, dance, laugh and cry with it. Live it fully and don’t think about the next three steps. Just let your senses soak everything in. It could be watching the clouds move over the face of the moon or climbing trees with your children, dancing with your loved one or reading a book. It could be many other things. Living the moment will trigger memories and thoughts that will take your whole being for a spin. Enjoy it. It’s not everyday living, it could not be, and that’s just fine. Just moments here and there. Enjoy their elusive yet captivating nature and live them fully. Your grown-up status will stay untouched, I guarantee it. You’ll be happier though and might even smile more, if you are willing to take such risks, that is.
Promise you’ll try. At least once.