I was driving home from Utah this weekend, travelling through St. George and looking out the window as I am so inclined to do on road trips. It's a gorgeous drive that reminds me of countless road trips through the area when I was just a kid. I remember driving through the canyons and writing poetry in my little secret notebook. I looked forward to that part of the drive the entire trip so that I could basically marvel at how gorgeous the mountains and red rocks look in the sunlight.
Anyways, driving through this trip was no less magical and as I stared out the window I noticed my mind wandering to other places, and to other times. Initially I didn't catch myself and when I finally realized what I was doing I kind of mentally shook myself with a little bit of self-resentment. "Be here now!" Here I was, in the front row of some of nature's most gorgeous work and one of my favorite places since I can remember, and I wasn't fully enjoying it.
And how often does that happen? How often do we spend too much time dwelling on the past or worrying about the future rather than just enjoying our lives? I feel like it's an awful lot. And it's a terrible habit. Life is awesome. Like, seriously really and truly awesome. The people in it, the experiences available to us, all of it. It's important to live in the current moment so that we don't miss out on what is happening right here and now. Because that, my friends, is what it's all about. It's about the moments in our lives (yes I know this is very Hallmark sounding). It's about what is happening now, and not what has happened or what will happen. I can't emphasize enough just how minuscule the things we stress over really are in the grand scheme of things. And trust me, I am just as guilty of not being in the current moment as anyone... but it doesn't have to be that way. Sometimes you almost have to take baby steps to be in the Now. I pulled myself out of my head by small observations: That rock is red. The sky is so blue. I wonder what the wind feels like blowing through those branches. The leaves are so pretty in the Fall here. You kind of start to really SEE what is around you and stop seeing what exists solely in your head.
I think that as a writer, I am probably more prone to this kind of behavior. It's just so easy to sit around and romanticize things that exist in my mind rather than just use my eyes to appreciate the world as it is in front of me. But there is a huge gift in simplicity. In the simplicity of seeing something for what it is, and appreciating it. It's like in one of my previous entries with the half full/ half empty glass: stop focusing on whether it's hypothetically full or not and just appreciate the "Hey! Free milk!" It can be as simple as that: Just enjoy it.

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