Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Live In The Moment

I can't tell you how many times I hear "live in the moment", "stay present",  "live life to the fullest".  As if it's such a simple thing to do...I can actually recall specific times in my life when I was "in the moment".  Trust me - they were AMAZING, but they are not numerous.  How to do this?  How to do this?  Do you just stand in your kitchen and say, "Ok - I am going to live in this moment."  Yea - can you say B-O-R-I-N-G...not so simple.

As you may or may not know, I am an orphan now my father passed away in November and my mother died in 2007. Over the past 4 months, along with my brothers, I have literally touched every item in my childhood home. Everything had to be sorted through to decide what to keep, what to toss and what to sell.  At the end of this process, there was a SH*Tload of "stuff" to sell.  Today is the estate sale.

Throughout these three months, there have been many emotional moments as well as cathartic ones.  Anyone that has gone through the process might know what I am referring to.  I certainly did not expect to have so many moments, but it turns out my mother saved EVERYTHING.  Receipts going back to 1947!  THOUSANDS of pictures, cards, mass cards, newspaper articles, kids drawings - it was endless.  What to throw away!!!!???

By the third month I was tossing things I wouldn't have expected to during the first month.  Truth be told, if I kept it, MY kids would be tossing it - mindlessly perhaps - after I die.  By the end of the first week, in conversations with my, oh so entertaining self, I was vowing to go home and start throwing crap away that was stored in bins in my basement.  By month 3, I had changed my mind.  Perhaps my children should have a peek through the window of the side of our lives they weren't privy to growing up?  That remains to be seen but is certainly something to think about.

Awhile ago I posted about the future day when I would lose claim to my parent's property.  That day may be coming.  Of course you never expect it to happen so soon...but it has.  I look at all the cars coming onto the property for the estate sale and my heart is weeping.

I feel so violated, for one thing.  This sale has been on my mind for weeks and I have gone thru a litany of emotions about it.  Bottom line?  On Monday, my childhood home will be bare, empty, gutted - just like me.  But I can't dwell on these feelings.  This too shall pass.  It is a joyless day for sure but it does make me think how hard it is to stay in the moment - moments that are JOYFUL are fleeting and we need to work on that.  I think back on my life and my relation to that house and I think how I should have stayed in the moment more.

But you know what?  That's not that realistic.  You are in the throes of growing up, fighting with siblings, yelling at your mother, getting yelled AT.  In addition are the happier memories - decorating the Christmas tree, eating Stateline potato chips on Saturday nights in front of the tv, listening to Dad whistle and sing as he worked, a smile on my mother's face, eating a favorite meal...there are gazillions of bad and good.  I'm not sure that you can live in the moment, growing up.  But what you CAN do is live in the moment NOW, when you riffle through the memories of your childhood.  Catch your JOY there.  And vow to be more present and catch more JOY going forward.

There is no easy formula for living in the moment.  But you will certainly know when you WERE!  Maybe that's the key.  That living in the moment happens.  It can't be conjured up.  When I figure it out?  You'll be the first to know.  Promise.


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