In the Moment

One thing I’ve really been working and concentrating on lately is being in the moment. It takes a lot of effort for me to do this. Right now, I’m sitting in SFO on my way back from a work trip to Chicago, and it seems to me there are few better places to witness those in the moment—and those not—than at the airport.

I’ve been traveling for 12 hours now due to plane delays, and it’s been difficult not to be upset about what’s already happened, and it’s been difficult throughout the day not to worry about what might happen. And in this, I am not alone, and it’s pretty obvious to tell those in the moment from those that aren’t.

I’m going to take a little leap here and add that being in the moment means not trying to control what you can’t. If I’m focusing on what’s happening at this point in time, my vision is focused, and I can clearly see what’s possible. I’m able to see what I can do and am more able to let what I can’t control go.

As you can imagine, there were quite a few people upset today, and it was all about things that were out of their control. Our plane had a leak in the cockpit window and some people tried to take control by yelling at the gate agent. Others got angry because all later flights were booked. I even found myself blaming ORD and Chicago in general because I was upset too. I think it’s fine to be upset, but I’m working on getting out of that state as quickly as I can, and the best way to do this is to be in the moment. I looked at where I was sitting and was thankful I wasn’t on the runway waiting. I saw the mechanics inspecting the window and appreciated the fact that they knew where to look for the problem, and trusted that was the best course of action. I sat and waited and hoped for an opportunity to get home some time today but I let go of worrying about it. When I found myself wandering into the future with worry, I came back to my seat, the window, and observing my fellow passengers around me, and I was calmed.

It really takes almost all my effort to even come close to this kind of peace, but the more I practice and the more I succeed, the more I see how critical it is to my survival.


Fix that toilet seat

Damn! It’s almost been a month since my last weighty entry and I have to say, shit has not let up one bit. But we all have a lot of “big things” we’re handling in our lives, right? For instance, I’m a husband, father of soon-to-be three, sole provider for the family at this point, and then there’s the cat. Every day I try to learn more, be better, and just keep it all together, and there are definitely days (sometimes more than I’d like) that I struggle. So how does one cope?

There’s lots of ways to cope with our daily grind: drugs and alcohol, maybe God(s), meditation, work, music, or as my co-worker Shelby likes to say, belief in the Cosmic Muffin. But you know what my latest bit of peace is? Fixing the toilet seat. Then shaving or taking a shower. That’s right. TAKING CARE OF THE LITTLE THINGS. Those little things that we put off, probably because we know they’re easy, or not THE most important thing at the moment. See, we’ve had this loose toilet seat in our master bathroom for like a year now, and it drives us both nuts, and finally one night I just looked under the “hood”, found the loose nut, and tightened it. Two minutes of work, then pure bliss. And I began to realize how important taking care of those little things are for our daily comfort and peace of mind. Spending a few minutes here or there on something concrete, something you can easily conquer, something you like, somehow refreshes you to tackle those bigger things.

I don’t know. This has probably been analyzed or stated in a million books on success (which I will never read), but I have really found it to be true. Take care of the little thing that you know you can knock out in five minutes, and I bet you’ll be as surprised as I was at how good it feels.