One Little Word: “Present”

So far I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed in 2016. This is my own fault. I am a procrastinator. I make piles of things to do tomorrow. Laundry to put away, magazine articles and books to read stack up until I don’t know where to start. I’m not proud of this, but there it is. I’ve come to realize that this leads me to nothing but regret, particularly about those things I just never do. I do know I can’t think of anything I’ve ever done that I truly regret. So I should just do it, right? But what is the opposite of procrastinate?

Online sources aren’t helpful. Forge, forward, and expedite are all listed, as is proactive. Each one of these is fine as a stance, but none appeal to me as a word to live by.

This morning, even though I was without a word, I decided not to procrastinate any longer and forged ahead with the vacuuming I’d been putting off. Sure enough, as I pushed the beater bar back and forth across the living room rug, the word present popped into my head.

Present. The more I considered this word, the more it appealed to me. It has so many meanings, but two immediately came to mind: The here and now and a gift. It seems to me these are really the same thing. To be present right here, right now, is a gift. To be able to sit in my warm kitchen and write these words is a gift. To look out the window and watch the rain drip off the maple tree’s bare branches is a gift.

I’m not under any illusion that it will be easy to give up my habit of procrastinating, although as I get older, putting things off makes less sense. What am I waiting for, after all? Or, more to the point, what am I afraid of? My yoga teacher always tell us that when we find our mind has wandered, return to the breath. This seems an appropriate response to procrastination as well. When I find myself stewing over where to start, I’ll remember to just breathe, and return to the present. Who knows what gifts I’ll find waiting there.

Created in Canva, using a photo of a gorgeous hawk I took while out on a walk last week.

Margaret Simon has invited bloggers to share their OLWs on her DigiLit Sunday Roundup today. Please be sure to visit her there to see her students’ Canva creations.

7 thoughts on “One Little Word: “Present”

  1. Catherine,
    I sit here, having just rehung pictures on three walls, moaning about the work I need to do. I feel your pain about procrastination. Sometimes I do work better under pressure, other times I just don’t want to redo the “work” three times so why not wait until the last minute?

    Love present since it can be used so many ways. I find joy this afternoon in this blog post!


  2. Hmm, I spent this morning putting the piles in order, putting away laundry, dishes. All in an attempt to organize so I could be present. Or was I procrastinating? I’m loving your OLW and attempting it right now. I think I’ll have to bury my phone to be completely in this moment.
    Love to you and happy New Year!


  3. I could have written this post. I have stacks of magazines to read, and books (oh, the stacks of books). My husband is now calling our kitchen table my office because of my piles. I need to make lists and check off. But yesterday I was determined to be present. It’s a great word for making us notice and be aware of who and where we are right now. I need to stop trying to change. My priest said this morning that he is finally admitting that at 64, he will never “have it all together.” Perhaps when you have it all together, you stop living.
    Thanks for linking up today. Next week’s topic is digital vs. nondigital literacies. I hope you will continue to be present for DigiLit Sundays!


  4. It’s a good word to take you to “the moment” & what you can do with that moment right then, trying not to see all the other things needed. I have my fingers in many pots & wonder why sometimes, a need to focus (& be present) is often something I say. I love the art you created with your word, Catherine.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s