“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”
― Groucho Marx
We live in a world of so many distractions. The perfect example can be found by watching people behind the wheel of a car. They run lights, pull out in front of people, and drift from their own lanes, all because they are distracted. We’re not living in the moment because we’re too busy worrying, reading texts, surfing the internet, and not focusing on the task at hand.
So what happens when we live distracted ? We miss the here and now (or cause an accident). We don’t hear what our spouse just said, because we weren’t listening. We didn’t see out child do something amazing, because we weren’t paying attention. The sunset was astonishing but we didn’t see it because we’re texting. Or maybe we caught a glimpse, took a picture with out phone, then put the photo on Instagram and shared it, but did you really experience the moment?
Just before I started photography, I was in that place of total distraction. My mind was so filled with worry and details and, to be honest, I had no life. Then I heard this voice inside me say, “Shelby, when are you going to start living?” It hit me right between the eyes. I was alive, breathing, but not really living. I certainly wasn’t happy.
My heart’s desire was to do something creative, so I bought a DSLR and started taking pictures. I began living in the moment and I started to see the world through lens of my camera. I saw the most beautiful sunrises, something I had been completely missing for years! I felt the chill of the morning air, the warmth of the sun as it hit my face, and I watched the world wake up. It was beautiful! I took pictures of every thing and began to notice the smallest details in a flower, or the way the sunlight looked through the trees. The world was so amazing and I had been too busy to every see it.
I took my husband and son out with me when I shot pictures in the rain. They held the umbrella over me and we laughed and joked and played in the rain together. We got in the car and drove around looking for photo opportunities and had fun together.
It taught us all a great lesson, we can choose to live life and be happy, or we can sit around and wait.
Now, we try to do something every day that takes us closer to our heart’s desire. We try to live in the moment, listen to each other and live well. We still get distracted and have to remind each other about putting our phones down or shutting our laptops, but we are much more mindful of what it is to live in the moment.