Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Living for the Moment

Good morning, HLA! It's Katie here and it's currently 3:15 am. I have yet to finish packing so that I can leave Virginia later this morning. I have spent the last 8 months at JMU and so in my post today I would like to take some time to reflect on my experience and what I've learned from the people I've met along the way.

When, I came to JMU, I had just spent four years at Bellarmine where I lived my four years up to the max and took on every leadership position I could get my hands on at the time. All of this involvement and leadership helped me to learn a lot about my abilities, interests, and talents as a student. Then, I came to JMU and I was able to mentor and supervise some undergraduate students who were experiencing the same journey I had been on for the past 4 years. What I found was that sometimes I got so caught up in the work I was doing that I forgot to remember what was most important- enjoying each moment for what it is.

I was reminded of this tonight as I was sorting a pile of books that I wanted to take with me to read for the summer and a pile of books that could stay here in Virginia in storage. One of the books I stumbled upon was "The Why Cafe" by J.P. Strelecky. This is one of my favorite books of all time. A professor of mine from Bellarmine had me read it during my sophomore year. The book is all about a man who is driving one night and gets lost on a long abandoned road. He keeps driving until he stumbles upon a cafe and decides to stop and get a bite to eat. Once inside the cafe, he is confronted with some of life's most profound questions. Ultimately, his experience in the cafe confronts him with the way in which he has been living his life and asks some important how and why questions.

As I flipped through the book, I quickly stumbled upon one of my favorite parts of the book. Essentially, it asks why we spend so much time and energy doing the things we don't find fulfilling because when that one thing comes along that we find fulfilling, we won't have the time or energy for it anymore. The book also speaks of how we spend so much time talking about how we are planning for the days when we can do what we really want to do instead of just doing them right now.

About the time that I read through that section of the book, I dropped what I was doing, grabbed the book, and headed off to spend time with a friend whom I have become very close to this year. I had to ask myself, why spend the night packing and being alone in my apartment when I could go fulfill my friendship by spending some of our last hours in town together by talking through our memories of the year and how our friendship has developed since we met in August? For me, I know that my life is fulfilling when it is concentrated on the relationships I have with others and how I fulfill each of those relationships. Tonight, by spending 3 hours talking with her, I was doing what I wanted right in that moment instead of spending time on something I didn't find fulfilling. This is our last night in town together and that time will never come again (she has graduated and will not be returning next year)- why waste my time packing when I can live my life in a way that I find fulfilling? For me, I'm so glad I spent that time with my friend, fulfilling what has been a great friendship for me this year. I will leave Virginia tomorrow knowing that I spent some of my last hours here with one of my best friends and I will know she is aware of how much she means to me. After all, I did give her my copy of that book to read.

This is my challenge to each of you: Do one thing today that you find fulfilling that you would not normally make the time to do. After all, if you don't do it now, you may never have the time or energy to do it when it comes around again. What is it that you find fulfilling? What will you do today to add that special dimension to your day?

Signing off until tomorrow with the song of the day...

11 comments:

Heather said...

I'm really sick today and honestly can't make it through the post but I wanted to say hello to all you HLA'ers.

Chaotic said...

oh Heather, get well soon!!! As for the one thing that I find fulfilling that I would not normally make the time to do? Soaking my poor aching (weeded all weekend) body in my spa tub....

Cheryl said...

POLLS ARE OPEN AT TASTE OF USA!!!

I'll read the post when I get to work because look at the time... and I'm still in bed.

CHAOTIC!!!! Hemingray is on his way to you.... FINALLY.

Kat said...

Very inspiring, Katie! This it the second blog that I have read this morning that said something about seizing the moment while you have it.

Peggy said...

Very good post Katie! I don't know if I can have a seize the day kind of moment today... being a mom, wife and homemaker (plus working outside the home)... some times just doing what I want to do isn't a plausable thing. But I do actually stop and smell the roses, (or in today's case the lilac blooms)

Ahh, to be young and just out of college!!!

b.k.root said...

Very inpirational, Katie... I enjoyed your post.

This hits very close to home for me, because I do a lot of different things and am involved in various organizations that require many hours from me.

Tonight, I will "seize the moment" by calling my two best friends on the phone... Jason in North Carolina, and Joy in Erie. Sadly enough, I never seem to make time for these phone calls. (I'm not a big fan of the phone.)

Cheryl said...

Living for the moment... or another one of mine and Katie's favorite sayings, "Life is a journey, not a destination." So, maybe you don't have to go out and do something special but you can be happy and content and present in the moment you are in. Heather is not feeling well... for her living in the moment may be concentrating on rest and healing. That's her moment. I'm at work today and later will be home with my kids... instead of dreading helping with homework I will live in that moment with my boys as I watch them develop and learn. Does that make sense?

So, as I would rather be painting on a hillside in the South of France enjoying a day with my loved ones, I will be in my moment and be the best I can in it. I will be the best employee I can. I will be the best mom I can. And, I will be the best friend I can. :)

Katie K said...

Hello everyone! Well, I'm just now getting ready to leave Virginia.

However, before getting on the road I wanted to check in very quickly. I'm glad to hear that others are hearing the message of living in the moment.

I think the important thing to remember is that it does not have to be anything grand. For me it was as simple as sitting on a couch talking to someone for three hours. Maybe it's taking a short walk during your lunch break, maybe it's spending time planting flowers tonight, maybe it's sitting at the dinner table for 30 extra minutes to talk to your kids. No matter what it is, just live for the moment. That's the challenge for today. Just to take each moment for what it is.

robinweiss said...

Heather-feel better
Katie-safe journey.

Claudia said...

Nice job today, Katie and Cheryl... I also liked your comments. It's a gentle reminder that seizing the moment can happen in big and small ways.

It's another dreary morning in Dallas, so the dose of inspiration is just what the Dr. ordered.

Juggling the boys' schedules when Richard is traveling (which he is for the next couple of days) makes the evenings more hectic than I like. Inspired by Katie's post, tonight I won't waste a bunch of time over the stove (something I get nstead I will purchase a cooked chicken at the grocery on the way home. The time I save by not cooking, I can use to do what I really love - reading to Matthew. We are in the middle of James and the Giant Peach right now and I can honestly say I am enjoying it every bit as much as Matthew is.

b.k.root said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I totally approve of today's "Song of the day"... definitely made me smile.