Friday, January 22, 2016

On Being Present

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today. Easy peasy. Set the timer. Write. No editing, no second guessing. Just do it.

Today's prompt-present

I haven't participated in Five Minute Friday in several weeks mostly because it tends toward the deep and I've been swimming in the shallow end on my blog of late. I was scrolling through my dashboard earlier which led to the re-reading of some older posts, and I couldn't help but miss the writer I was. She's still around here somewhere, we just need to get reacquainted. I think that's where this word comes in.

As it happens I've had a post in my draft file labeled Present for some time now. The post was blank, but I'd scribbled the word down almost a month ago with every intention of someday getting back to it. And every week I'd open my dashboard, see it sitting there, and think not today.

So why then did I ever put pen to paper (or fingertips to keyboard) and spell out the word present? Here's the short version...

You know how it's kind of become a thing to have a word for the year? I've done it myself the past four years, when a particular word seemed to be everywhere I turned and felt like it had my name on, love, fearless, seek...

This year though? This year I just wasn't feeling it. I'd see people talking about their 'one word' and I'd scratch my head and say hmmm...what's going to be my word? And then nothing.

Blank space.

Empty air.

I think sometimes we force this kind of thing and I determined not to do that. Not to pluck a word out of thin air and wear it like a badge and call it mine.

We have a lot going on here at the moment, and I know if you read here you're saying 'doesn't she always???', but really, we have a lot going on here at the moment. And without over thinking it I've just let some of the online stuff go in order to be here. In the middle of my life.

Then there's the fact that recently I've become quite disillusioned with social media. Or maybe it's people I'm weary of. People spouting off and taking offense at every little thing under the sun, desperate to convince me their opinion is the right opinion. I might be late to that party, but Facebook for sure has lost some of it's appeal, both in tone and content. I started skimming more, commenting less, reading less, stepping away.

It's easier than one might think.

As I took some baby steps back it struck me that I'm often only halfway present in the present. I began mentally inventory-ing some of my habits and decided I want less multi-tasking. Less checking of the phone and more real listening. Less feeling irate and more praying. Giving less attention to the whiners and complainers in this world and filling my heart and mind with the beauty of the earth and the people I love.

Present. Really really present.

I guess that's why I left the post blank. The longer it sat the more the idea of sharing it felt almost contrary to the word itself. Contrary to why I chose it. Or did it choose me? But today I clicked on Kate Montaung's blog and Friday link up and there it was.

My word.

And I decided to write it all down because when I write I'm present in my own life. It's where I examine and resolve and remember how satisfying it is to truly be in the moment.  I want more of that this year.


  1. Good word, good thoughts. Enjoy your weekend!

  2. Good for you. Today I really need the less irate and more praying part. Hubby and I just met for lunch and spent some time praying because we both are kind of out of sorts. Nothing better to do than pray.

    I agree with you about FB. I've been considering dropping it, but decided instead just to be less active on it maybe. I think I'll do a little more with Instagram instead. I love seeing the pictures and posting pictures without all the other garbage. So far, I'm not giving any of it up, just letting go of some of the yuck stuff.

    I love this 5 minute stuff when I did that month of it last fall. I haven't done the 5 Minute Friday yet, but maybe I will take a look at it.

  3. As is so often the case, Joyce, you have expressed so much than I ever could some of the same sentiments I feel. First though, I can't imagine anyone taking issue with you about anything but I guess that's because I agree with you. But, I have really stepped back from FB except when I'm traveling and want to involve family and friends. So much of what is posted lately are posters and things like "If you love Jesus write Amen!" That is not for me. Present! I choose to live there too and leave the past behind for someone else to deal with and the future to my Sovereign God. The present is a good place.

  4. Facebook gets under my skin too, especially with the election coming up. I try to stay away from politics over there. Not always successful, but I do work at leaving it alone. I really enjoy your writing. You are very good at it. Don't stop!! :)

  5. Oh yes, I like this post A LOT.

  6. I steer away from politics these days. Hearing the doom words is something that makes me ill.

    1. I agree politics or race will get you in a sticky bush on social media... sometimes I just have to keep on strolling.

  7. Joyce thanks for stopping by blog because had you not I may have not found this wonderful little spot. I am so with you on Facebook. I have been called everything but a child of god on Facebook by people who aren't even on my friends list. It makes me leery of even posting on random post. When I do I have to be in a very sarcastic and unmovable mood and have time to let them know that it is not that serious. I call them Facebook Thugs... But back to you, I'm glad that you came back to FMF. I agree it does make you think a little deeper and sometimes its easier and more comfortable just to stay on the shallow end. One of my goals was if I fall short on my blogging schedule that I will post for five-minute Friday every week for a year. I want to call my self a writer so I must write.

  8. Present. I like your word, because, after all, every day is a gift. Enjoy your weekend!
    Kathy (from Reflections)

  9. Thank you for putting words to my uneasiness. I won't let Facebook pull me down. I glance through it and the second I hit one of those posts, I hop off. I have so many former students I keep up with on my page, so I don't want to drop social media. One just got married and I have enjoyed her wedding photos.
    I am trying to stop multitasking as I am finding (as is my family) my memory is not what it was. I find it is because I am consumed in thoughts, not present, and consequently very forgetful. :(
    Thanks for a great post!

  10. BAM! :)
    I'm with you on the social media thing. I'm trying to take a step back from it and not get so caught up in it.

  11. "Swimming in the shallow end on my blog of late" -- good phrasing there. I admire that!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  12. Yes, I hear you. I too am trying to let go of multi-tasking EVERYTHING, and being present in the moment of what I am doing, whether it is the dishes, or feeding the cat, or having coffee with my husband. Thank you for this reminder.

  13. Wow. you have nailed it with these words. I wholeheartedly agree with your words and thoughts. I never joined in to social media at the question and angst of all of my friends....they cannot understand my feelings about all of it. But I refused to give anymore of my life away to the computer. And the secrets of my life.
    I just posted an image of the moon tonight on my blog. It gave me peace. It made me think of the innocence of life.
    It put me right into the "present".
    Cool that I read your post tonight!!

  14. Awesome post! We all need to step away from our everyday distractions and be more present!!!

    ~#9 on linkup this wk

  15. Present is also my word for this year and for the same reasons. I realize that my kids are growing up too quickly and my parents are getting older and I want to enjoy all of the time we have together. I don't want to miss it because I was checking my phone!