Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Try Living in the Moment

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New Year’s Resolutions, anyone?

This year I decided on the perfect resolution: to live happily in the moment no matter the circumstances. The resolution was so perfect I had already begun speaking about it in presentations.

Living in the moment can be hard to do—think holiday travelers stranded at airports and train stations. Most of us relive the past or pine for a better future. I didn’t even understand the concept until I was in my 40s, and I was going to make sure 2009 was going to be the year when I focused on the present.

That is, until my daughter Addy took the dog-sitting job, which required me to be the designated driver.

“Let’s sit in the hot tub tonight,” Addy said. The doggy momma owns a fancy hot tub, which she had offered to us.

“Good idea!” I said. It was blustery and cold. Soaking in the hot tub sounded like fun.

We arrived at 6:30 p.m., checked on the dog, put our belongings on the kitchen counter and then went outside to the tub. As I was about to step in, I realized I still had the thank-you-for-my-Christmas-present note I had meant to leave inside.

Addy jumped into the hot tub as I headed for the backdoor. I turned the knob. It didn’t turn. The door was locked. “It’s still 2008,” I yelped at the intractable door. I wasn’t ready to face my new resolution yet, but what choice did I have. Plus, I had an impressionable witness.

And there I stood clad only in my swimming suit in 28-degree weather with our shoes, coats and my car keys locked securely in the house.

Fortunately I also had my cell phone. I could have called someone to pick us up, but I had left my spare house key in my own house. My friends who did have a key to my house were out of town.

I tried calling my hot tub friend, but I knew her plane wasn’t arriving until 8:20 p.m., if it did arrive on time in this time of many travel delays. I called my husband who was on his way home from an out-of-town trip. He wouldn’t make it for three more frigid hours.

Don’t tell my friend, but I thought about breaking down her door, but that solution didn’t appeal to Addy or me. We couldn’t think of anyone else to call. Who wants to be at someone else’s house in their swimming suits for three hours, even when the temperature is more favorable?

There was only one thing we could do. We threw up our hands.

At this point Addy said. “Okay, Mom. Let’s just enjoy the moment.” We had been talking about this lesson for some time now, and in the cold, in the dark, part of me was thrilled to know Addy had been listening to our discussions.

“You’re right, Addy,” I said, trying to set a good example while the idea of not knowing how long the hot tub ordeal would last unnerved me.

It was 8:20 when doggy friend texted me the number of the next-door-neighbor, who did have a spare key and after a good laugh came to our rescue. We had plenty of hot tub time, a good story for the retelling, and lots of practice of living happily in the moment. I have to admit I need lots more practice, which makes this 2009 resolution just right for me.

E-mail me and let me know about your living in the moment experiences and the opportunities you’ve had to practice.

Allyn Evans
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