Living in the Present

When initially brainstorming for this blog post, I was prepared to talk about finding balance in your life. For me, balance hasn’t always been easy to achieve. Some days I feel like I have it all together and I am unstoppable, while other days I feel as though I am just keeping my head above water.

As important as the topic of finding balance is, that isn’t the root of what I want to improve, however. Rather, it comes down to one thing: living in the present moment and enjoying things as they happen. Instead of thinking about what I have to do, where I have to go and what people may or may not be thinking about me, it’s about enjoying the activity at hand, the company that is with me and truly savoring each moment.

As clichéd as this sounds, getting engaged has been the start of the crusade for me in enjoying the present. I have begun to think more and more about how I go through life. Everyone I’ve talked to after getting engaged has said the same thing, “Enjoy every second of this time in your life! It flies by!” At first, I brushed those comments off thinking it’s just another thing people say. However, the more I thought about it, the more it made more sense. I want to be fully present in everything that happens over the next eight months, whether it be big or small so that I am fully prepared for all the adventures that come next. 

Am I going to tell you how successful I have been in changing thinking over these past few months? Am I going to be able to lay out a step-by-step plan for you to achieve your goal of living in the present? Hardly. Instead, I would like to offer a few suggestions to those who struggle with enjoying the present like I do.

First, I do a lot of self-talk. I actually need to go into certain activities and say to myself, “Okay, you must enjoy what is happening tonight/today/this weekend, etc. Do not think about what people are probably not saying about you and don’t think about where you have to be next. Just enjoy.” These mini pep talks have gotten me in a positive mindset so that I can truly enjoy what is happening.  

Second, I surround myself with people who I aim to be like and people who I enjoy being around. I find when I surround myself with people who can truly live in the present moment, I feed off of their energy. I am able to rid myself of any distractions and just experience life. Over the years, I have also realized how truly important it is to surround yourself with people with whom you enjoy being. I have struggled with this a lot in my life. Of course, there are so many ebbs and flows in personal relationships, but it’s about figuring out what people add value to your life, not take it away. I haven’t been this happy with my friendships and relationships in a really long time which has made it much easier to commit to my crusade about living in the present moment. Each person or group of people that I surround myself with truly has my best interest in mind, supports me in what I aim to do and honestly are just fun to be around.

Lastly, I have tried to put my phone away. I know this is the dilemma of our generation, but I do think this has helped. Taking away as many distractions as I can has helped my focus on the present moment. I don’t have to worry about emails, text messages or checking social media. There is no time for yourself when you are comparing your lives to others. If you want to be the best version of you, be that best version without worrying about anyone or anything else.

As I begin this new adventure—a year centered on presence—I am reminded of this quote.

“Be here now. Be someplace else later.” – David Bader

Teresa Florindi is a full time Social Studies teacher in Port Chester, NY. When she is not instilling her passion about American History to her 7th graders, she enjoys traveling with her fiancé. She also spends her spare time teaching group exercise and indoor cycling at her local YMCA.