The present moment


No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope and fear;
But grateful take the good I find,
The best of now and here.

John G. Whittier


I found this quote earlier today.  I was having a bad time, feeling rather sorry for myself.  Today was rather beastly in terms of migraine headaches.  I spent most of the day inside, hiding from light.  I start to feel I am turning into a mushroom. 

I spent a fair amount of today feeling depressed about all the things I’m missing this summer: camping, white water rafting, marathons, hiking, exploring new trails.  I’m missing work.  Right now, I “should” be in Officer Basic.  Instead, I’m watching Judge Judy.  Oh, boy.  What has my life come to?  The highlight of my day was watching Judge Judy tell someone off.  She does it well. 

Reading the quote, one might wonder why I would want to stay in the present moment.  Migraines are painful.  They also are nauseating.  And I couldn’t get rid of the thing.

Yet, spending time bemoaning what happened in the past- the accident- wasn’t helping my mood.  Quite likely, it was adding to my pain and discomfort through muscle tension. 

As for the future, I spent time today worrying about what will happen when I return to work.  Why?  I enjoy my job.  Yet, I was worrying after so much time off, I lost my skills.  Maybe I can’t do social work or the Army Reserve anymore.  What will happen then?  I was building a tempest in a teapot and creating an entire scenario that will most likely not happen.  There I go, creating a crisis where none exist.

What about my present moment?  Well, it was physically uncomfortable.  But, I was in a comfortable bed and an air conditioned apartment.  My ferrets were sleeping peacefully in the next room.  Ever watch a ferret sleep?  It is a very peaceful thing.  Like everything they do, they sleep with dedication.  Ferrets often sleep so deeply they appear dead.  I have picked up a snoozing fuzzy, heart in my throat, thinking they had passed away.  Then I felt their gentle breath and their warmth. Ferrants call this “Sleeping Not Dead” or “Dead Ferret Sleep.”  Once recovered from the fright, it can be quite amusing.  The ferrets can be moved in all different positions, carried into other rooms, kissed, their nails trimmed, etc while deeply asleep.  I often take a sleeping fuzzy and sit on my couch, with the ferret snoozing on my chest or stomach.  I pet the ferret and feel the sighs of contentment and comfort.  It is peaceful.

But, I digress.  The ferret sleeps in the present moment.  I could have gone into their room and watched them.  Perhaps one would be awake and wanting some attention.  Or sleeping soundly enough I could take him/her for a cuddle. 

Instead, I glommed unto my worries and pain. 

Radical acceptance.  At that moment, I had a killer migraine.  The accident caused me injuries which are healing.  I will heal in time.  I can learn from my experiences.  Even with the pain, life can be rich and rewarding.  

Be well, my friends.


5 responses to “The present moment

  1. I know – so far she’s not got any chunks off anything, just likes to leave teeth marks in my flip-flops, but it makes me nervous anyway.

    And how did we every live without them? They’re hilarious, constantly entertaining, and all around fun. And comforting on bad days – mine occasionally fall asleep in my hoody pockets in the winter, and I love those days.


    • They certainly bring a lot of energy and laughter with them. It’s amazing what they can get into. I am ocassionally blessed with cuddle days. Nothing like a ferret sleeping on your chest or stomach.


  2. Dear Lydia,
    In regards to your fear that you’d lost your skills for being a social worker, no dear you haven’t. If anything you’ve gained an insight that will serve you well for decades to come. Where you may have had compassion for the suffering client now you have a deeper level of understanding, and with that a greater arsenal of tools with which to direct, encourage, prod or whatever needs done.
    Just reading your blog as you search for peace in the midst of this turmoil has given me encouragement. You put to words some of the very thoughts I’ve struggled with for years but was unable to verbalize. Hearing you say something enables me to go “ah-ha” as I realize that’s what I’ve been trying to identify. Being as far out from my injury as I am, I can now look back and say, “Yes, that is what I was doing but now this is where I am.” And where I am, while not perfect, is still a vast improvement over what was.
    Be encouraged my friend, you are reaping positive rewards for this process you are in. You may not be able to see it in the close-up but the outter circles are reaping huge positives.


    • Thanks, Cathe. It’s hard to be away for so long. With the problems I have with concentration and speaking, I get worried I won’t recover it to work. I’m glad to hear that my experience has helped someone else. At least some good came from it already.


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