Being Present in the Midst of Overacheiving

being-present

For me, 2016 is all about being present.

Embracing the moments I have with the people who are in them. I have this habit of always looking forward towards the next project, next study, next event, next … anything. Then when I get there I don’t enjoy it fully because I’m already making plans for the next thing.

Halfway through the year, while I have made progress, I am not there yet. There are many layers to being present. I started to put my phone down more, hiding it in my purse rather than setting it on the lunch table when friends or family are around. I’ve tried to create an atmosphere of presence in our home by listening to the needs of the kids. Sitting and listening (even if it means sitting in silence) when my kids call for me, waking my son up at midnight to play Mario Kart if I know he has had a rough day. I paint nails and take time to garden. I smell my coffee and make pancakes for no reason. I turn the TV off if it’s just background noise and engage with the show when I am watching.

At work and in my day-to-day, I’m working on truly hearing the heart of others and not just the words, to pursue quality education over quantity, to create community through events and not just events to check the box. Because the list keeps growing. The phrase “to be present,” one I thought at the time was simplistic and achievable, has unveiled layers of needed change.

My Middle Sister, Zoe Gregg, shares some of my own struggles. Her article When Your Relationship With Food Is Complicated made me realize being present is part of the healing process of my own body as well. “It’s not about opening yourself up to everything or emptying yourself, it’s about paying attention, focusing on the present reality, being aware of your surroundings, your feelings and what God might be saying.”

Being present is about savoring the moment.

When I serve up window food (as my kids call drive-through food), and stuff it in my face rushing from one meeting to another I am not fully engaged with my moment.

Being present, abiding in this earthly body, means caring for my own health is also important. So instead of rushing through the window food, I’m scheduling meetings at restaurants with healthy foods I enjoy. Instead of running from meeting to meeting out of breath, I’m taking a few extra moments in the morning to gather myself on a walk before the heat of the day. Instead of coming home at six and wondering what I’m making for dinner (or ordering), I’ve taped a meal plan to my fridge.

One day this, “to be present,” will be simple. After all my personality is very go-with-the-flow, it’s adaptable even in the midst of overachieving.

So for now in the moment, I’m abiding in the beauty of today and the people around me. And the me who always has to plan … Well, I’ve decided my theme for 2017 should probably be “to be present” as well.

There’s still a lot of work to be done.

To the me who always has to plan: Being fully present is always the better option.Click To Tweet

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To the me who always has a better plan, who thrives on being an overachiever ... being present fully is always the better option.

Hope N. Griffin

Hope N. Griffin

Hope, author of "Finding Joy: The Year Apart That Made Me A Better Wife," is a military spouse and the mother of three children. She has an MABS from Dallas Theological Seminary and is the Director of Family Ministries at First Presbyterian Church in El Paso, TX.
Hope N. Griffin

About Hope N. Griffin

Hope, author of "Finding Joy: The Year Apart That Made Me A Better Wife," is a military spouse and the mother of three children. She has an MABS from Dallas Theological Seminary and is the Director of Family Ministries at First Presbyterian Church in El Paso, TX.

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