Living in the Moment
“Living in the moment”
Sometimes I know what that means, and sometimes I have absolutely no clue.
A cursory look on the internet of ‘living in the moment’ or ‘living in the present,’ brings all sorts of instructions and hints. But what does it really mean? How can you live in the moment with all the things going on around you, and still be productive?
We are lucky enough to have a dog. He lives in the moment – always. He spends most of his day lounging around. He has different spots throughout the house where we’ve put a pillow or blanket for him. He moves from one to the other, and I have no idea why. If there is an argument or some other expression of conflict and resistance, he quickly moves away from the action.
He considers what is happening in that moment and determines what’s in his best interest right then and there. There is no strategy about whether he is going to make a scene or embarrass one of us with his quick exit or any other drama. He just does what he does because it seems like the right thing to do right then.
When it comes time to go for his morning or evening walk, he will let us know all about it. He does not confuse living in the moment with not having desires. He definitely wants to go for a walk and makes it obvious. If we have to go out for a meeting or otherwise can’t take him, we’ll let him know, and he’s okay with it.
If we do go for a walk and have to cut it short, he’s okay with that too. No glaring at us or questioning our motives. He just trots back to one of his pillows and continues with his day
Each new moment presents itself, and we have a choice as to how to react – that’s the trick
While he knows what he wants, our little dog is okay once he knows he can’t get it. He doesn’t mope around the house or put on airs the next time we head out for a walk. It’s like nothing happened. He accepts what is and quickly moves on – because that moment no longer exists.
It is rare to see this type of presence and acceptance in people. In one of the TV shows Beth and I watch, there is a character that seems to live in the moment. It’s an Amazon Prime show called Mozart in the Jungle. One of the main characters is the conductor of the New York Symphony Orchestra. After watching the first few seasons of the show, it dawned on me that he’s living in the moment. He is incredibly spontaneous, creative, and quite disorganized.
He seems to go from moment to moment and reacts in his immediate best interest. Not necessarily in a selfish way – for example, he wanted someone to go to music lessons and volunteered to do his job so he could go. For the conductor, the right thing was for the student to attend the class, and by volunteering his time, it was possible. Problem solved.
Of course, the longer-term difficulties of having the conductor of an orchestra doing menial labor would eventually prove challenging, but that was some time down the road. By then, another set of possibilities would present themselves! Let’s worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.
The most significant thing we’re learning about living in the moment is trust.
Our little dog trusts that we will take care of him, and he will get what he needs when he needs it. If not, he’ll deal with it. The symphony conductor also trusts that things will work out. Not everything goes smoothly as a result of his actions, but what fun would that be if everything worked effortlessly?
As Beth and I continue our adventure, we continue to learn to trust and live in the moment. We are becoming more accepting of what is and knowing that everything will work out. It’s a fun journey, and we are fortunate to have our little dog as one of our teachers.