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living in the present or in the future…

Oh Joy / Living in the Present

Oh Joy / Living in the Present

Oftentimes I find myself working so hard, lining up projects, crossing things off my to-do list, figuring out how to constantly pay all those bills, and working towards that "end goal" of success that I forget to live in today. I'm trying to be more present in the present by asking myself every night, "What's the best thing that happened today?". It doesn't have to be a big deal or anything hugely significant, it's just about noticing what's happening around you and appreciating life as it unfolds.

Go ahead and try it yourself…and tell me, friends, what's been your favorite thing to happen today?

P.S. On not doing it all

{Photo by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

39 comments

  1. When I was little, our dinnertime conversation always started with ‘what was the best thing that happened to you today and what was the worst thing?’
    It’s one of the biggest things I remember from being a child, and the game showed you could always find something good that happened, even if you thought you had a bad day. I still play it by myself sometimes, or with my boyfriend, and ask the little girls I babysit the same questions.
    It’s a fun way to reflect and, I imagine, that for parents it’s a useful way of tapping into some of the things your child might be worrying about, without making them feel like you’re making a big deal about it.

  2. Every night I write down 5 things I’m grateful for. My husband and pets get listed a lot BUT I always find other things too and it helps me stay mindful like you said. 🙂
    My favorite part of the day so far was making a pina colada-flavored smoothie for breakfast!

  3. My daughters and I do this at bedtime most nights, but they like to call it “roses and thorns” where the rose is their favourite thing that happened that day and the thorn is the thing they would change or could have done without.

  4. The best thing that happened to me today was the 7- month old baby knew how to turn on the musical mobile to entertain himself before mom woke up :). It’s another day of adventures with my little dude!

  5. Balancing living in the present but thinking and planning for the future is such a difficult one to balance. I’ve been trying to focus on mindfulness lately and setting aside time in the morning or evening to just be quiet, contemplate, and appreciate. Usually, I write in my journal.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  6. Balancing living in the present but thinking and planning for the future is such a difficult one to balance. I’ve been trying to focus on mindfulness lately and setting aside time in the morning or evening to just be quiet, contemplate, and appreciate. Usually, I write in my journal.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  7. Balancing living in the present but thinking and planning for the future is such a difficult one to balance. I’ve been trying to focus on mindfulness lately and setting aside time in the morning or evening to just be quiet, contemplate, and appreciate. Usually, I write in my journal.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  8. Balancing living in the present but thinking and planning for the future is such a difficult one to balance. I’ve been trying to focus on mindfulness lately and setting aside time in the morning or evening to just be quiet, contemplate, and appreciate. Usually, I write in my journal.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  9. Balancing living in the present but thinking and planning for the future is such a difficult one to balance. I’ve been trying to focus on mindfulness lately and setting aside time in the morning or evening to just be quiet, contemplate, and appreciate. Usually, I write in my journal.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  10. Balancing living in the present but thinking and planning for the future is such a difficult one to balance. I’ve been trying to focus on mindfulness lately and setting aside time in the morning or evening to just be quiet, contemplate, and appreciate. Usually, I write in my journal.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  11. Balancing living in the present but thinking and planning for the future is such a difficult one to balance. I’ve been trying to focus on mindfulness lately and setting aside time in the morning or evening to just be quiet, contemplate, and appreciate. Usually, I write in my journal.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  12. Balancing living in the present but thinking and planning for the future is such a difficult one to balance. I’ve been trying to focus on mindfulness lately and setting aside time in the morning or evening to just be quiet, contemplate, and appreciate. Usually, I write in my journal.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  13. Balancing living in the present but thinking and planning for the future is such a difficult one to balance. I’ve been trying to focus on mindfulness lately and setting aside time in the morning or evening to just be quiet, contemplate, and appreciate. Usually, I write in my journal.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  14. Balancing living in the present but thinking and planning for the future is such a difficult one to balance. I’ve been trying to focus on mindfulness lately and setting aside time in the morning or evening to just be quiet, contemplate, and appreciate. Usually, I write in my journal.
    Circus & Bloom
    ♥♥♥

  15. This is a great way to reflect on the day – good suggestion! Best thing so far today is getting to explore more of the city I’m currently visiting. There’s something magical and freeing about walking in the city, spotting a local cafe/bakery, and enjoying a cup of tea in the midst of chaos.

  16. Lovely post! You made me think about the present moment and stop for a while. Thanks! The best thing is to see my boys’ faces when they come back from school.

  17. I’ve been getting more and more into mindfulness– and went to an amazing conference last week at UCSD where one of the speakers said this:
    “Stay focused on the resilience you see around you. Take time at the end of each day and reflect on what went well, who is doing well.” — Christopher Willard
    So true– it’s so easy to get caught up in all the things that DIDN’T get done, all the things yet to be done tomorrow, or all the things that did get (sort of) done but not in the way you might have wanted. Focusing on the things that went well is so important. Not to mention the fact that being present in the moment (doing one thing at a time where possible) makes it more likely that all the things that you DO manage to get done will be done in a way that you feel good about! One of the other speakers (Mayuri Gonzalez) said, “I remind myself every day that there is only enough time for the things that there is enough time for.” I love this too, it’s so liberating.
    I do small-group mindfulness for kids in San Francisco, and have a Facebook page for our program relevant to anyone around the country, offering daily mindfulness inspiration, tips, and resources on promoting mindfulness in your own life and sharing mindfulness with kids. If you’re interested, it can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/MightyMindsSF

  18. My favourite thing to happen today is definitely being thankful for having such a great job to go every single day and that when the clock hits 6pm I’ll get to go home to a loving husband and kitty, my little family.
    This was such an inspirational post. It’s very important to remain in a mindful state at all times, otherwise we’ll wake up one day and realise we’ve been in autopilot. I’ve been there.
    Just be thankful every day for what you currently have in your life.
    Rita
    http://heyrita.co.uk

  19. We’re working hard on this at home right now. Every night at bedtime, my almost-4 year old and I talk about our favorite parts of the day. Often times, it’s that very moment with her that is, in fact, my favorite part of the day.

  20. The best thing that happened to me today is that I have enough energy to spend today. As long as I eat healthy and sleep well, I have strength to overcome any(big or small) obstacles. And that’s all everyone needs I guess. Thanks for posintg this. I have a good moment to think about what I am thankful everyday.

  21. Staying present can be so difficult, but it’s such a wonderful way to make the most of every day. The best thing that’s happened to me today is being featured on ELLE.com as the Coach of the Month. Such an honor!

  22. You’re so right. And sometimes we get so caught up in the go go go of our days and forget to just enjoy our actual life and not just what we consider to be the destination.
    The best thing that happened to me so far:
    My baby finally fell asleep while I got ready to come to work this morning.

  23. Hi Joy, this is such a good and meaningful question!! The best thing that happened to me today is that I get to enjoy and share a great conversation with my friend at lunch. Hope you have a great day!

  24. Thanks for this prompt. I think we will all give this a go at our house tonight! So far, the best thing that has happened to me today is that my little one happily went into preschool, no tears. Made my heart sing to see him happy!

  25. I definitely need to do this more often. One of my favorite things that happened today is when an old acquaintance messaged me to tell me that something I wrote really affected her. She didn’t need to, but she reached out, and it really made my morning! Thanks for the reminder to stay in the moment, Joy.
    Maggie
    http://www.unboundprocess.com

  26. Right now the little boys are sound asleep, my husband is making me a cup of tea, I am finally done with work for today and the is snoozing on my lap. Heaven!

  27. My best thing today was little Mr 5 coming home from school and telling me the name of the boy he played with at lunch time, and what they played 🙂 It’s the small things, but he has such trouble making friends that it warmed my heart!

  28. Wise words Joy! My favorite thing today…making homemade pizzas with my boys. We talked about it in the morning and the first thing Wolf said when he got home from school was how excited he was to make those pizzas! I let our 2 year old Dutch help me mix all the dough and it was really great. It’s the little things. 🙂 Much love from Canada! xo

  29. I try to find things to be grateful for too.
    Today it was having an energy drink and an interesting, very random conversation about mice and bats with my colleagues.
    Take care.

  30. My best thing today was, oddly enough, cuddling my daughter after a big tantrum. Poor thing was so overtired, and she looked so relieved that her tantrum was over and Mama was there to give hugs.

  31. My favorite part of today was watching my kid brother walk through the door of his brand new house for the first time!

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