The Joy of Walking Around the Block

I wrote on Monday about my fight against nostalgia this fall. I want to say again that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with thinking about the past, reminiscing, or cherishing great moments we have experienced.

But dangers lie there, and we can get stuck in the past pretty easily.

We can also get stuck dreaming about the future. This tends to be the temptation for me. Instead of being present in the moment and enjoying what is going on right now, I just look ahead hoping for something better around the corner.

Part of that is because the present can kind of stink. Our dryer broke on Sunday. Tuesday morning I walked into the office and the floor was covered in water and there was a stream gushing out of a wall. Not how I was hoping to start the day. If it isn’t water, it’s something else: unexpected extra work, interruptions, annoyances. And then there’s the big stuff: the phone calls you don’t want to receive, tragedy, and life altering moments.

All of this makes it easy to retreat to the past or dream about the future…anything to take our minds off the present.

We are having a January “heat” wave here in Boston so my wife and I took our daughter for a walk on Monday afternoon. She’s only 16 months old, so we hold her hands and walk on either side of her while she toddles in between.

And she has a blast. Giggling, barking at dogs, smiling, pointing at everything, and then there’s the pure, full-bellied laughter and joy that comes from being swung between mom and dad.

Marina has me beat at being present in the moment and enjoying whatever is right in front of her.

Why do we lose that as we get older?

Here’s to being more like Marina. Here’s to being more present.

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