While sitting on the beach yesterday I was made aware of the fact that I’m not always living in the moment. My family members pointed out that I was sighing and asked me why. Upon reflection I noticed that my thoughts had strayed back to my job and the problems surrounding my school district. I quickly, and quietly tucked away those negative thoughts, but readily admitted that my mind is often plagued by the stressors created by my workplace. I made a promise to my family then and there that I would try to be present in the moment. That I would set aside the problems of school and fully enjoy this week. Isn’t it strange how easy it is to summon up negativity and dread, yet happiness and optimism is something you must work to find? Or maybe it’s just me? Perhaps most people don’t spend as much energy thinking about the what ifs in life. Or could it be that I’ve been spending too much time surrounded by negative thinkers? I know I wasn’t always this way. Once upon a time I looked forward to going to work every single day. Now I spend much of my time looking forward to weekends, vacations and summer. Hence, I’m often not living in the moment, enjoying what surrounds me today.
I recently started asking my students to record 3 things they are grateful for in a gratitude journal. I myself write along with them. We do this every single day. The rules require them to write about 3 different things every day- no repeats. This activity forces us to really look at the important things in life – the things we can’t live without, yet often take for granted. It has been about a decade since I last performed this activity for myself and with a class. It seems I have gotten off track during this time. I’m not the positive person I know I should be. So this reflective journal is one small step to get me back on course. I’m hoping it will help me dispel some of the negative baggage I’ve been carrying, and help me live more in the moment.