Over the past few months I’ve had to take time off from social media and the news. And guess what?! The world kept on spinning! Maybe it’s ok to be blissfully ignorant to the current news for a few days or weeks. Maybe we need just a few days or weeks to tune into our own lives and our families’ lives. Maybe we can stop writing in our planners or making to-do lists and actually DO something. We can miss out on the most beautiful parts of life happening right in front of us when we get hyper-focused on the current news stories or the “Facebook lives” we just can’t compete with.
Just a few days ago, I came home after working and got busy checking things off my to-do list. I thought I was on top of things! My three year old was following me from room to room. I was listening to him, but mostly trying to keep him quietly entertained so I could get things done. Then I heard his little voice, “Mom. Look at me. Look at me with your eyes, Mom.” I was surprised for a second. I scooped him up in my arms and looked him in the eyes. He put his arms around my face and gently squeezed my ears, and nuzzled me with his tiny little button nose. It made me think. When was the last time I had looked at my husband in the eyes? Had I done it today? What about the students I worked with everyday at school, or even the cashier at the grocery store? When my friends talk to me am I present or thinking about something else? When I visit friends in my ward or neighborhood, do I really listen and care about their lives?
While we read about or watch the past and current events around the world (or our friends’ lives on social media), and continue to check things off our long to-do lists, Pres. Monson also teaches us to live in the present.
“Sometimes we let our thoughts of tomorrow take up too much of today. Daydreaming of the past and longing for the future may provide comfort but will not take the place of living in the present. This is the day of our opportunity, and we must grasp it.” (In Search of Treasure, April 2003).
Each of us is on the earth with different gifts, families, priorities, and challenges which means, “being present” will look slightly different for each one of us. Look for ways to be present today! Make today meaningful in simplest of ways.