On being present. 

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The boy and I are in Thailand right now for winter vacation. We’ve spent the last two days waking with no alarm, relaxing by the pool, and basking in the warmth of the sun while a sea breeze caresses our faces. 

But this vacation isn’t easy for me. Because I have a problem with relaxing and being present. 

Today I locked my phone in the safe and went to breakfast with the boy. Afterward we went to the beach. 

That was the hardest 4 hours of this day. 

Not because I wanted to check my emails or my Facebook page or even post the wonderful beach scenery on Instagram. (I kinda did when we were kayaking but that’s beside the point) I think it was because I struggle to not know what time it is. Not that I really need to be anywhere or that we had something to do. Over the years I’ve just become completely obsessed with having control over my life. And being at this beach is challenging everything I’ve become accustomed to. 

Not sure when or how this came to be. I don’t consider myself a control freak. (Who really does, tho?) I was called one once by an ex. I told him that I don’t believe that I need to have control over everything in my life, I just don’t like the feeling of NOT having control over anything in my life. To me, there is a difference. 

But. Im realizing my craziness is driving my child crazy. The water baby who just wants to get lost in the crest of the waves and make sand castles and practice his snorkeling. My child is so free that I am often jealous of his ability to abandon everything and just be present in the moment. 

On this trip, I’m re-reading The Alchemist by Paulo Choelho. In it, he talks about a camel driver who is talking to the boy. He says “I’m alive…When I’m eating, that’s all I think about. If I’m on the March, I just concentrate on marching. If I have to fight, it will be just as good a day to die as any other. Because I don’t live in either my past of my future. I’m interested in only my present. If you can concentrate always on the presents you’ll be a happy man…Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now”. 

I’m trying. Really really hard to be here. Present in the moment. Not worrying about work when I get home. Or deadlines. Or creating. Or even our next destination. Just now. And right now, it’s a struggle. 

I suppose realizing I’m a control freak is liberating in a way. In this, I’ve given myself permission to calm down. I want life to be a grand festival for us and right now it isn’t. I know the more I make an effort and practice, even if it’s 5 minutes, I will become more comfortable at the notion of the here and now. Not making any promises, but I’ll try. 

Now, off to sit by the pool and finish this book. 


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