Living In the Moment

By , December 12, 2014

Let’s face it: certain catchphrases just go with our family’s lifestyle: off the grid, self-reliance, self-sufficiency (two different concepts, let’s not get into that right now), mindfulness, frugality—the list is long. I stumble over one particular phrase in the list: “living in the moment”.

I think I don’t fully grasp this concept, but I actually do, although perhaps not always in a good way . . . .

This is the moment. This is now. (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger.)

This is the moment. This is now. (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger.)

I tend to view the current situation as all there has ever been, or ever will be.

This is particularly true of weather. If it’s sunny, I think it’ll never change. If it’s raining, it has always rained, and will always. This must be living in the moment in the extreme, because I live in Southeast Alaska, where we can get all kinds of weather conditions in a few hours! As avidly as I listen to the local weather forecast, I can’t seem to keep in mind the inevitable changes headed our way. I live in the weather moment, if you will, the here and now of whatever conditions exist.

I find this true of other situations, too. Lately, our battery bank shows signs of reaching the end of its useful life. Our normal power usage changed drastically as a result. Soon after, I began to think we’d always used power this way, which handicaps planning for the next step. I forget that when the batteries behaved normally, we observed certain limits and used certain techniques that will apply again when we install new batteries, even if they don’t right now. Living in the present, restricted power moment need not be the way things will always be!

Despite this somewhat limiting point of view, I still manage to function. I’ve lived most of my life in Alaska, so I rarely leave shelter without adequate clothing to add layers to whatever I’m wearing. That’s just a given—it rarely requires thought, thankfully. If it did, with my attitude, I’d be in trouble! When problems arise we overcome them and move on. I just experience a little bit of “in the moment” along the way.

I guess this is why I generally don’t credit myself with the ability to live in the moment—I tend to see it as a character flaw in myself! I chide myself for thinking this way, rather than considering it proper. To me, it seems childish to view conditions this way; at the very least, it displays lack of critical thinking, a cardinal sin in my personal outlook.

On the other hand, I suppose I do manage to live in the moment in the positive sense much of the time. I certainly relish each day on the “homestead.” I’m always mindful of how lucky we are to live the life we do. I live life in thankfulness, attuned to what’s happening around us for the most part. I just get caught up in that other moment now and then.

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