The present is now

Thoughts to Ponder – March 10, 2015*

 “There is no vacation from reality, 
but when we strive to remain present in every moment, 
a vacation becomes a part of our reality, 
instead of an escape.”
Window 704 – The prison of our mind

This interesting quote not only discusses being present, but it also brings up the concept of reality. Let’s talk about being present first.

Remain present and live in the moment were strange words to me when I first heard them. I couldn’t imagine a life without my brain bouncing forward to worry and backward to hurts or regrets. That was simply the way it functioned. How I ever got any real-time work accomplished is a mystery.  In addition to not working up to my abilities, my vocabulary was filled with buts and ifs. It’s no wonder that what my teachers wrote on my report cards, “Doesn’t work up to potential” was replicated year after year on my performance reviews.

After hearing live in the present more times than I could count, I decided it might be worth a try. At first I struggled and had to constantly remind myself that I was here, today, in this place and not in whatever time and place was filling my thoughts. Sometime later, I moved from struggling to striving. Striving was easier. It was a goal I set myself each day, and still do.

For the most part, I now live in the moment or at least in the day. When I find myself focused on events of the past or possibilities of the future, I remind myself that I am here, today, in this moment and bring my thoughts back to the moment. That allows me to be fully aware and functioning on a higher level. A bonus is that my performance reviews have improved significantly. I still keep a schedule, but now it is a guideline, not an “OMG, how will I get all this done?” list.

The writer’s phrase, “… a vacation becomes a part of our reality, instead of an escape” struck me as strange until I realized that vacations are now a treat, not an escape. I still count down the days to my upcoming adventure, but my perspective is different. I no longer think, “Only 10 more days and I’ll be out of here for a week.” What a difference this has made to my attitude and my work ethic. This isn’t to say I never get tired and look forward to a break. I do, but the thought process makes all the difference.

Just a quick note about reality:  Reality is a concept, a personal construct. Just because I experience an event a certain way doesn’t mean that my experience is the only one. Each of us has a different perception of what happened. This is enough on that topic, for today anyway.

© by Sharon D. Dillon, March 10, 2015

*This has been a long month without writing. Regrettably, I spent most of that time slogging through the worst head cold I’ve had in years. My sinuses were so stuffy that my brain didn’t have room to function. My thoughts centered on only one question: Will I have time to reach for another tissue before the next sneeze comes?  That certainly kept me in the present. Thankfully, the cold has passed and I’m now functioning as I should and glad to be back at the keyboard.

If you know someone who would appreciate reading “Thoughts to Ponder,” please suggest that he or she contact me at:

Sharon D. Dillon,, “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by Available in print and e-format at