Focus on the moment

Photo courtesy of Chiot's Run (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Chiot’s Run (Creative Commons)

I caught a whiff of someone’s perfume the other day as I passed her and experienced an immediate flood of memories of my grandmother, who wore the same perfume. I don’t even know what kind it was, but it was a sweet moment of reminiscence.

The sight of lightning bugs on a summer evening, rising up from the grass, brings back days of catching them in a jar and watching them glow.

There are certain hymns at church that bring me to tears with memories of my father, and I can see him standing there singing and smiling.

A cool, rainy Wednesday will remind me of swim meets, wrapped in a towel shivering between races, and the exhilaration of standing on the edge of the pool, primed to dive in at the sound of the gun.

I fear that these days I am missing the opportunity to create memories by being so caught up in the grind of work and obligations. Days pass quickly in the rush of meetings, stacks of work, and endless lists of things to get done. Months go by in a blur, and I wonder how it can be summer already, when it was just Christmas.

Stop. Focus on the moment.

In an endless quest for done, I’m missing the joy of doing.

I used to quilt and do other handwork like counted cross-stitch. I always had a project going, but I discovered that it was not so much the activity of stitching that I enjoyed, but the feeling of having finished. Once I realized that fact, I stopped stitching.

Many current activities in my life are like that. I do them out of a sense of obligation or responsibility, but I don’t so much enjoy the act of doing, but the accomplishment of being done. That is not a good enough reason to be doing it. I need to look at what I’ve said yes to, and weed out those things that are no longer fun or fulfilling.

That way I can make room for the moment. I can find the time and focus to create more memories. I want to reflect on a day or a week and savor the joy, not feel like it was a blur.

What is preventing you from living in the moment and creating fond memories?