Over the weekend I made the trip to Charlottesville, Virginia for a short reunion with my college roommates. In honor of turning 40 (some of us sooner than others), we rented a house next to Monticello, drank wine, sat in the sunshine (they have that in Virginia) and caught up on our lives.
I don’t know if it’s the magic of old friends, those that have known you for more than half of your lives, who knew you when the daily meal was ramen noodles and pretzels with ranch dressing, when drama was figuring out how to break up with a guy or getting a “C” in your philosophy course, but I was more present in the 48 hours I spent with them than I’ve been in months.
Staying present in their presence was the greatest gift I’ve received in a long time.
As I’ve talked about before I spend almost every waking moment doing what author Daniel Goleman calls “nexting.” I might take a few minutes to enjoy Friday night, but by Saturday morning I am planning a blog, worrying about how much I haven’t written, and plagued by a constant, vague notion that I need to be doing more.
Make more money, write more blogs, take on more clients, run more, workout more.
Always so much guilt that I need to do more.
This weekend, for 48 hours, I gave up more. I didn’t ask myself to write or study on the plane. I opened my laptop twice, and once was to order pizza.
It’s amazing how the conversation changes with time - we talk about the environment and politics and raising children instead of which fraternity party to hit that night. And I was IN every conversation. Despite, or maybe because I only slept three hours Friday night to catch an early morning flight about of Boston, I found myself deliciously hanging on every word they said.
I turned my phone off.
Not on silent, not on Do Not Disturb.
The quote on the board in our gym last week came from a client: “There is not Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, there is only now.”
My goal, more so today than ever, is to remain mindful. And that is my wish for you. To not be dulled by the daily routine, but comforted by it. To find a way to enjoy and embrace the now.
Our only guarantee is now.