But What If The Present Moment Sucks?

But What If The Present Moment Sucks?

I’m sure you’ve heard it.

“Be present.”

It’s the only moment we really have, they say. Because if we’re living in our past, we’re re-living the pains and regrets of yesterday, and if we’re living in the future it can be a fearful and worrisome based vision of the uncertainty which lies ahead. The present moment, we’re told, is the sweet spot between the two.

But what if the present moment sucks?

Because sometimes it does.

Then what do we do?

The present moment has been marketed as the safe space between our past and our future. An emotional oasis of sorts. But just because it’s the present moment doesn’t mean it’s always a peaceful moment.

Being aware that the present moment sucks is a good thing. It means you’ve been able to step back from your inner emotional turmoil to assess and determine that, yes, this moment actually sucks. Much like a first responder needs to assess the situation on scene before going forward, our self awareness is the first step for us to move beyond the suck.

Sometimes the suck is just a temporary moment. Sometimes it’s much bigger than that.

Sometimes, though, the best thing you can do in this suck moment is give yourself the time and the space to let the present moment suck.

To accept it as it is.

To allow it to be as it is.

Not beating yourself up because it does.

Not shaming yourself because it does.

Because when the present moment sucks, the last thing you need is to be in an abusive relationship with yourself.

You’ll find a way through.

You always have.

The Best Time To Experience The Present Moment Is Now

The Best Time To Experience The Present Moment Is Now

So there I was.

5:30 AM standing on Coast Guard Beach.

Eastham, Cape Cod. 

Here comes the sun, as the song says.

I’m drawn to sunrises, even if at times it’s a long drive to see one. I left my home a few minutes before 4:00 on this Sunday morning just to see the sun appear out of the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. Certainly, sunrises can be a metaphor for new beginnings and new light. I just happen to think they are simply really cool to witness.

This one didn’t disappoint. The sky’s subtle transition from dark to light revealed a spectacular array of colors and textures in the sky and along the shore. In the shallow water in front of me several seal pups swam parallel to the shore, unimpressed with the sights and sounds around them, the crashing of the ocean waves illuminated by the ever-changing angle of the sun.

With me, as always, was my camera, my trusted companion in capturing the fire and majesty of the births of many new days. But today the camera wasn’t the priority.

I’ve watched the sunrise on this and other beaches many times over the years. Each one it’s own unrepeatable magnificent creation. And with each one came my intention to perfectly capture it, camera in hand. At some point in my photographic journey, though, I realized that I had unintentionally become more concerned with preserving the moment than actually experiencing it. My egoic desire to own the moment prevented me from actually fully enjoying the moment.

Egoic, because I had made this about about me and my need to perfectly capture what was in front of me. Egoic, knowing I’d be disappointed if the images I captured didn’t meet my exacting standard.

It made me wonder about other moments in my life where I chose, consciously or unconsciously, to surrender the present moment in favor of attempting to relive it at a later time. How much of the present moment is lost when we need to immediately share that moment on Facebook and Instagram? What if instead of photographing our food we chose to first actually enjoy it instead?

The best time to experience the present moment is now. 

I still greatly enjoy the photographic side of a sunrise, ever working at refining my skills with the goal of faithfully capturing the beauty of what’s in front of me. But the priority is to now be more fully present to witness the spectacle and wonder of what’s unfolding in front of me. 

On the beach.

And in life.

It’s Amazing What You Can See While Running In The Dark

It’s Amazing What You Can See While Running In The Dark

It’s dark. And it’s cold. My mind logically presents compelling arguments as to why I should go back under the covers and get just a little more much-needed sleep.

But I made a promise to myself. And fitting this promise into my schedule requires me to start my day much earlier than my body and mind both feel I should.

It’s just before 5:00 AM. I’m standing in my driveway with a halogen lamp wrapped around my head, wearing a reflective vest and holding my iPhone.

Time to run.

I will win no awards with my running, either for speed, endurance, or technique. But that’s not why I do it. In addition to the health benefits, accomplishing a goal before the Continue reading “It’s Amazing What You Can See While Running In The Dark”

What Happens When The Plastic Horse Is No Longer Good Enough?

What Happens When The Plastic Horse Is No Longer Good Enough?

She didn’t even care. And I’m certain she never even thought about it. It looked like fun, especially the ones which moved up and down.

Behold the world through the eyes of a six year old.

Going through some old photos, I found a picture of my daughter at an amusement park from a few years back. There she was, with a smile from ear to ear, her eyes as wide open as they could possibly be. She was holding on tightly to the brass-colored pole which connected the plastic horse to the mechanism which allowed it to go up and down.

When it comes to exciting amusement park rides, the carousel pales in comparison to the more modern gravity-defying, vomit-inducing rides. But there she was. In the moment. Fully present. Simply enjoying the ride. Never comparing the Continue reading “What Happens When The Plastic Horse Is No Longer Good Enough?”

Guess What? Your Life Is Over and You Missed It

Dude, where’s my summer?

Remember when summer used to last forever? September was so far away it was never going to happen. Of course that was back in the days before kids and a mortgage and all those other grown up responsibilities.

This summer has already come and gone, and it feels like it never even started.

Or was I just too busy to notice?

Life’s greatest joys are usually found in the details. It’s the little things we notice when we actually take the time to notice them. Fully immersed in the present moment. But with the pace of life these days, who has time for details?

There’s always some place we’re trying to get to. There’s always something else to be done. Life sometimes feels like an all-you-can-eat Continue reading “Guess What? Your Life Is Over and You Missed It”