I’m racing back up the stairs, laptop and hand bags in one hand, keys, apple and the coffee I intended to savour but had to tip into the old, chipped mug, which fits into my car’s cup holder in the other. My blow-dried hair wafts across my face, strands sticking to carefully applied, tinted lip-gloss, ready to smear fine lines of Bamboo Pink across my left cheek.
“WHY can’t I remember if I locked the DOOR?” I lament to myself, as the strap of my laptop bag slips from my shoulder and thuds onto my wrist, ricocheting my handbag towards my perilously gripped coffee. By a stroke of luck, I’ve taken the first gulp, so the knock merely sends a wave through the cup, and my white shirtdress remains as intended as I reach my door, which is locked.
I remember receiving a birthday invitation once, and the last line read: “No gifts allowed. My present is your presence.” Awww, I thought, How sweet. And as I stood at my locked door, it dawned on me: Presence is the ultimate present.
When you’re present, you focus on what is happening around you. You genuinely listen to a friend, style a rocking outfit, watch a sparrow on a tree branch, and lock your front door.
There’s a lot to be said about being mindful: mindful eating, shopping and living. Mindfulness, to me, is about consideration and recognition, and it’s something our society doesn’t seem to want us to have top of mind. We’re told more is more, whether it be experiences, purchases or activities. And at the same time we’re told, Your Time Is NOW! and, Carpe Diem! But is it really?
Do we truly have time to think about our time and seize our day, while our To Do list ever lengthens and becomes more urgent?
We can’t make time, but we can take time to be aware. It’s difficult at first, and I am still learning, but an investment of a second to check myself seems to reap dividends of satisfaction which a bluechip, fully franked company would A1 rate.
Being present gives you time, creates calm and overall, rocks. Let’s give the gift that actually seems to give back, to ourselves. Because, really, who doesn’t like a present?
Bianca Ross is a writer, researcher and enthusiast, with much room for improvement, of being present.