It’s that time of year when people start breaking their New Year’s resolutions already.
I feel like I’m pretty safe with mine this year: I resolved to be present. And so far this year, I’ve been present for every day of it.
It started as a joke. Then it became a mantra.
When people at work asked how I was, I smirked, “Present and accounted for.” Then I started to over-think it. Perhaps I’m accounted for, but was I really present?
Sure, we’re all wherever we are at any moment in time. But are you really present in that moment? Are you clearly thinking about whatever was right in front of you?
I know the answer for me is usually no. I spend a lot of time multitasking, thinking about something else and missing out on whatever’s in front of me.
They say your best present in your presence. But that’s only true if you’re truly living in that moment, enjoying the people around you.
That’s no easy feat. We all have 10 things waiting for us to do at work. We all have some project at home eating away at us. We all have distractions, worries and concerns.
Those distractions, worries and concerns don’t go away if you’re only at home with your children in body and not in spirit, though. Your employer probably only pays you for eight hours a day, so why donate a few extra for worrying during your own time.
Before he retired, I always marveled at my dad’s answer about how his day at work was. “Over,” he’d always reply.
I continue to envy that ability to set aside your work life and focus on your home life when you’re able.
It’s not easy to be present. The human mind wants to be doing other things. It wants to solve problems or rehash issues. It will convince you it’s not fully engaged if you’re playing with children, listening to a sermon at church or listening to a story from your spouse.
The human mind lies, though. Those moments of undivided attention will be the ones you think back upon as the moments of clarity for you.
As we all figure out what kind of year 2015 will be, mine will be a year of being present and accounted for, which it turns out is a lot more difficult than it sounds.