The Here and Now: A Reminder from a Child

My grandson woke up shortly after being put down to sleep last night. He was cranky, mad, frantic – full of whiplash and vigor at the world. He wanted what he wanted, but his mom held out to see if he would go back to sleep. Eventually, his forlorn screaming won the skirmish, and he found himself in his mother’s arms with a wonderfully warm bottle in his mouth. He sucked with delight and drifted in and out of consciousness in a peaceful bliss. Then the bottle was empty, but he had decided that he wanted more. The crying began again. “More,” he said in his unintelligible way, which was still perfectly clear to all onlookers. But that was it, decided mother. He was back in his bed with no more bottle and soon he did indeed drift off to sleep. The traumatic moments over. Mother relaxed with that look on her face. You know the one.

In the morning, something had changed. The little guy was bee-bopping down the hallway on all fours. He was clicking the buttons of his favorite toys, and he was living his happiest moment on earth without a second thought about the all the harsh trauma he had experienced the night before from his unreasonable mother.

He was the epitome of living in the moment. The past was completely gone. The future was not an inkling in his mind. He was absorbed with the immediate and he jumped head first into whatever was consuming his attention: the bottle, the toy, the sleep, the food, the play, the hug, the kiss, the smile, the laugh. The here and now.

Yes, you probably know what I started thinking. Why couldn’t adults be more like kids? Less focused on the wrongs of yesterday or the worries of tomorrow – more concerned with the person we are sitting across from – the task which is in front of our eyes – the small things we can actually do rather than the big things we don’t know how we will do tomorrow.

These concepts can be applied to anything. In my life, it applies to book marketing. Focus on the little things I can do today. Also relationships, who am I talking with today? Where are my feet planted and what’s in front of me? Why don’t I focus on that?

Life might be simpler and a little better if our gaze and our memory was shorter. Daily life is complicated enough. Why make it more so? I just need to remember to be more like my grandson, without the loud, shrill crying.

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