Living the moment

22 Mar

While trolling the AARP website earlier today, I came upon an article titled  “7 Ways to Live in the Moment: Discover peace of mind by focusing on the here and now.” I read it thinking it might offer something new about the philosophy of living in the moment.

The seven suggestions, however, were mundane, same old, same old. They included the expected — meditation, yoga, a walk in the woods, doing something out of the ordinary, and so on. Those are all great ways to relax, to take a break and focus on one thing at a time. And doing them consistently has longterm benefits, but all are merely momentary.

The article, while attempting to inspire and uplift, made “living in the moment” seem transitory and activity-related. I realized the phrase doesn’t adequately or accurately describe this point in my life although, until I read the article, I thought it did.

But I’m not simply living in the moment. I’m living the moment.

Living the moment centers not on a particular point in time as in “this minute,” but means being so focused on the current project, objective or whatever that the worries about the future and regrets of the past fall away. They’re there, but have less immediate emotional impact and resonance.

I can’t remember the last time I felt so good.

I want to sustain this feeling and level of focus for as long as possible. My life now is so satisfying and productive, which isn’t at all how I could describe life during the first 16 months after I was laid off by my employer of 30 years. During those months, I worked hard at finding a job — unaware, or desperately afraid to acknowledge, that I didn’t want one. I don’t mean that I didn’t want to work. I did.

I just didn’t want a  job.

A few months ago, I began entertaining possibilities of what might happen if I gave up the job hunt. I researched how to start a business, talked to folks at the Small Business Administration, consulted with friends and colleagues.

During lunch with a friend who had recommended that I apply for a job with her employer, I found myself explaining why I didn’t think I was qualified for that position even though I had applied. Then I started telling her about my ideas for articles, for all the exciting, fun writing projects I could focus on when I had the time. I couldn’t stop talking.

She listened to every idea, even the crazy ones, and when I finally wound down, she said, “Do you really want a job?”

No. I really didn’t. Not what most people consider a “real” job.

As soon as I got home, I called SCORE — the volunteer Service Corps of Retired Executives — and made an appointment to find out what I needed to do to set up a full-time business and market myself. Structure, to me, equals commitment.

So, a month ago, I registered with the secretary of state as the sole proprietor of a limited liability corporation that I named Wordsense. It’s all mine. I’m using the skills I developed during my journalism career and I have the job I want. I love it.

Every day is scary, sometimes frustrating and full of melt-down moments. There are unfamiliar business and financial details to tend to, plus unending organization and planning to make sure all assignments are done well and on schedule.

Every day, too, is full of possibility. I’m completely focused. Now. Living the moment.

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One Response to “Living the moment”

  1. Pamela Trawick March 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    It’s so great to know who you are and what you want to do. Freedom and happiness ensue.

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