Staying Present

I have a long-sleeved maroon hoodie that I got at Target. It’s lightweight and it says STAY PRESENT across the chest.

I love this shirt. It’s comfortable and cozy, and I love anything that helps me remember to stay present in my everyday life, rather than getting caught up in yesterday and tomorrow.


Our family spent a few days at the beach this summer, and I was wearing this shirt while doing a crossword and chit-chatting with a group of people. My father-in-law asked me what my shirt said and what it meant. I explained, and then meekly put down my crossword. Because, while I strive to be present always, I am often not present. I am often multi-tasking, worrying, regretting, and doing a crossword or crocheting a blanket while also talking to a room full of people.

When you have a fresh start, it’s a good chance to set a reset button and start anew. And I have several major fresh starts happening in my life at the moment. I thought about that today; I was expecting a visitor, and I started to fret a bit, about how to entertain, what we’d eat. what we’d talk about. And then my visitor came – and I was completely in the moment, totally present. We talked and we laughed and we cried. I didn’t say everything “right” because there is not a right and wrong way to say things most of the time. I was just – present. 

When I really stop to think about it, I realize that it is rare for me to be fully present in my life. I worry about the future and I fret about the past. I do two things at once, doing neither of them in a really mindful way.

And now, after spending an afternoon with a friend and my family, just being in the moment and accepting every moment without judgment, I wonder – can I do this? Can I try to live totally in the moment? Can I worry less? Can I try to not have such high expectations of myself and everyone else? Can I try to just BE? Scratch out the TRY – can I just be?

One of my favorite quotes is from a song called “Another Day” in the musical Rent. 

There’s only us

There’s only this

Forget regret

Or life is yours to miss

No other road

No other way

No day but today

There are so many moments that I miss because I’m worried about being perfect, about doing everything the right way. I desperately want to be present. I want to be fully present in each and every moment of my crazy beautiful life. I know I can’t achieve presence and mindfulness the way you can get an A on a test. But – I can pray. I can hope. I can just BE and forget the rest.


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