I went for a jog Monday afternoon, and as I was stretching, I realized how little I am actually in the moment. As I started running I tried to focus on my environment and surroundings and not think about the past or the future. Every two minutes I would think about the future which included my “to do” list, my trip to Florida I had scheduled this week and my marketing campaign for my acting studio.
I live in Schumacher Village/ German Village which is in downtown Columbus, Ohio and is an old historical district that has a lot of character: brick streets, old houses that have slate roofs, gas lamps for lights and a grand park in the center of it. During my run I noticed a house that had sculpted it’s bushes in the front yard with an art deco design. The bushes started at the house and came down to the front of the sidewalk where they intersected and made the letter “V.” Each bush was the same width and height and matched perfectly all the way down to the front of the yard.
On the next block I noticed one of the streets had rows and rows of trees with white flowers that were starting to bloom. As I ran under the trees some of the pedals were falling off and you wouldn’t know if it was snow or the leaves. As I turned the corner and headed back to my house I took one look back at the trees and the white pedals that lined the brick streets.
Finally, as I finished my jog and was walking back to my house I saw a groundhog in my backyard. I stopped at my front door and just looked at the groundhog who was unaware of my presence. He slowly made his way through my yard and went under my neighbors’ fence and vanished.
I jog in my neighborhood two to three times a week in the spring and the summer and I never notice these details are any other details on my runs. The only reason I noticed the bushes, trees, and a groundhog was I consciously focused on being in the moment. What this made me realize is how much in life do I miss out on when I am with friends, family, co-workers and clients? Many of my experiences are robbed of unique qualities, images, and colors due to my constant need to plan, to strategize, and anticipate the future.
How observant are you? How much of your day are you focused on the past or thinking about the future? Think about the last time you were outside when you took a walk or went for a jog, how much detail do you remember?