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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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getting things done by living in the moment

"Living in the moment" has become a pretty hackneyed cliché now, but it still reflects my greatest challenge on a day-to-day basis. This is despite (or maybe because of?) how much I've studied, read about, and know about mindfulness practices. At hundreds of points throughout the day, I ask myself if I'm really here, or if I've let myself wander off elsewhere mentally.

A few minutes ago, I was eating my breakfast at the island, uncharacteristically without reading material in front of me or an iPod earbud in my ear. The boys were acting out a big imagination game, each wearing a backpack filled with treasures and equipment and climbing up onto the window seat to investigate what was happening outside. (Max is 4 and Cohen turns 3 next week.) As I watched the miniature Cohen struggling to throw his leg up to the window seat and climb up, I had a momentary flash of... something. A feeling that I was really here, that I was watching something important happen as it was actually happening.

I watched Cohen's bright eyes looking out the back window at our yard, at the forest behind our house, at the sun rising through the trees. I knew that I was really here. I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. I wasn't thinking about what I need to get done later today. I was eating a meal I'd prepared myself for myself. (I wasn't standing at the counter, swallowing the leftovers from my kids' breakfasts before putting their dishes into the dishwasher.) I was watching my kids play, not waiting for the last minute before having to rush through getting them dressed to leave the house and thereby interrupting their game. I was listening to what was happening in the room at that moment instead of catching a couple of minutes from the latest episode of my favourite podcast. I was drinking from a big glass of cold, fresh water.

I was here.

Deep breath.