Practice makes perfect, presence and presents
The real question today is: Why, in all of my years of selling Girl Scout cookies, painstakingly going from door to door, did no one ever let me dress up as a Girl Scout cookie?
As I made my way down Park Avenue to grab my morning coffee yesterday I turned my head slightly at a red light to see three little girls skipping along the side walk, laughing and prancing, dressed up as little Girl Scout cookies. They had to be a mere seven or eight years old but they were loving every inch of life in their costumes adorned with the names of "Thin Mint," "Dos-I-Do" and "Samoa." Life to these little ones was as sweet as the cookies that they were selling.
As I drove onward, past the little cookies, I could not help but let those little girls serve as a reminder of the box of Girl Scout cookies sitting right in front of me: the perfect, luscious, sugar-coated opportunities begging not to go stale.
The human mind baffles me constantly. The fact that we can store so much knowledge, think in such a deep and profound manner and that we have the capacity to store clusters of memories from years ago. But with all the wonders of the mind, I think we still let our brains hold the reins a little too tightly. It is certainly not easy to train our minds to stay in the moment, to not edge onward to the papers due and the meetings making their way to the front of our planners. But it is worthy of a shot.
You know, they do say that practice makes perfect. And wouldn't it be so perfect to be able to stay fixed on the present moment rather than letting it slip away to something that has not even happened yet?
It saddens me that as I grow older it becomes more difficult to be that little "Thin Mint," spinning along the roadside, not a trace of preoccupation on her face. Shaking Off The Past. Shimmying Away The Future. Sasheying With The Present. But last night I practiced. Last night, as I popped a bottle of champagne in my white party dress and toasted to a wonderful year and a wonderful night, I said to myself, "Let this moment be enough, Hannah."
I could have spent the night focusing on the tests that needed to be studied for, the upcoming issue of the newspaper or every nook and cranny of my future that would love to snag my attention. But I decided to focus on other aspects: That I was fortunate enough to go to a ball with all of my friends, that I have made the most of my four undergraduate years and now it is time to celebrate the hard work, that I made a place for myself in New York City next year, that I looked and felt beautiful in a stunning white dress.
My life lately feels like an exquisite novel, one that I don't even want to put down because I am so anxious to see what happens next. But I need to be careful. Not to jump ahead. Not to skip over paragraphs to get to the point. Careful. To sit and stay reading. And let it be enough.I need to keep practicing this.
Practice. Yes, let's practice. Practice being best friends with the present moment. Practice wearing life out, so much, that life literally has to ask us to take a seat for two seconds to rest its feet. Because if we practice furiously, the past will get the hint and see that it already had its turn. The future will learn to be patient, it will get to spend time with us soon enough.
But the present. Oh, the present wants our attention right this very second. The present wants to grab our hands and spin us around. And just so you know, word on the street is that the present has some pretty sick dance moves. I hear it does the Soulja Boy like a pro.
Come on, I dare you to share the present moment with me. Come hang out and devour these Girl Scout cookies with me. I would adore the company and I would love to know the sweet things in your life that you are taking a big ol' bite out of.