Enjoying the Present

Hi all!

I hope everyone out there is having an amazing week. I am currently on “study” holiday from Uni for 2 weeks… I have quite a lot of work to do but it is almost impossible to motivate myself in a period of time that has the word “holiday” attached to it. Just don’t give me a holiday. I can’t handle the responsibility of self-motivation. In the spirit of trying to get something done tomorrow I’m heading into Uni to force myself to get in the mood for study (if that is actually possible). It helps that my mum works at the university so a trip to Uni means a cup of tea with her as well!

So after work this morning (not really work, just looking after more adorable children) I took my Grandma out for some lunch. My Grandma lives in a rest home here in Auckland as she has Alzheimer‘s and thus couldn’t continue to live alone down in Fielding (an adorable little town in the South of the North Island of NZ).

Often after spending time with my Grandma I tend to come away feeling sad. Sad that she can’t remember details of her wedding, sad she can’t recall what she did that morning, sad that the amazing, intelligent women who I spent so much time with as a child seems incomplete. Sad that she seems so unhappy being stuck in a city she doesn’t love in a rest home she finds boring. Sad that I don’t know how much worse her disease might get. Sad that there is absolutely nothing I can do to fix her.

Today however my lunch with Grandma left me feeling slightly different to usual. While we sat outside in the sunshine eating our meals Grandma enjoyed the simple laugh and play of a child, the sight of a sparrow dust-bathing (is that a word?), the feel of the spring sun and the simple pleasure of a well made latte. She didn’t need her memories of her history or goals for the future to truly be appreciative of the moment she was experiencing at the time. This made me think about how I treat the present and how everything I do is in relation to my plans for the future or my analysis of the past. I spend to much time worrying about how things have been or how things will go and this prevents me noticing the details of this moment and leaves me absent of an appreciation  for the present and the here and now. Often when I sit drinking coffee or eating lunch I am thinking about a conversation I had earlier, analysing the tone of voice someone used with me, worrying about how I will get all the tasks I have done and so on.  By seeing my Grandma who is to some extent stripped of the worries of the past and the future made me realise the potential to live in the moment.

Instead of relating everything to the past or the future I realised that the present should be experienced in and of itself. Sure, an analysis of the past can be so important in learning to develop as a person but the feeling I took away from today was that every now and again we need to stop and just enjoy the experience we are living. Forget the past, forget the future and be present…in the present.

So thanks Grandma, for showing me the importance of appreciating life for what it is and paying attention to the little things in life that make the present such a gift and a blessing.

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