Don’t Let Living in the Moment Get in the Way of Living


Yolo; You only live once. Let me begin by saying that while this is true, I had no idea what this meant for the longest time. I honestly thought that it was the name of a rapper that teens were obsessed with – even though I never bothered to wonder why I’d never heard any of his or her songs. Aside from the simple fact that I clearly and obviously have little knowledge of teenage slang as a person in my 30s, I am not ashamed to admit that I’m pretty glad I don’t. Something else I can admit, however, is that I do agree with that. You do only live once, and you should make the most of your life. You should fail so that you succeed. You should try so that you can fail so that you can learn so that you can try again and succeed. You should laugh, love, play, cry, enjoy, experience and create memories. You should yell and scream and make a few impulsive decisions you’re sure you are going to regret – and maybe you will regret them and maybe you will not. You should be occasionally spontaneous and fearless. You should be responsible and trustworthy. You should go after what you want, and you shouldn’t care what others think of you – you should live for the moment.

But you shouldn’t live so much for the moment that you actually forget to live. Case in point; my kids sometimes say they are bored. And as a mother of four who works from home, I’m not always able to remedy that situation. I worry and stress about how I’m going to keep them entertained all summer when they’re home from school all day and when I mentioned this to my husband the other night, he looked at me like my head fell off.

“They don’t need excitement every moment of every day,” he said to me with an incredulous look on his face. And guess what? He is correct; when we were growing up our parents ignored us while they did dishes and cooked dinner. We weren’t in the kitchen begging for another snack or asking to go to the zoo or do another Pinterest craft. Our moms were less stressed because we were more independent and more self-sufficient. We had imagination and creativity. We weren’t bored; there was too much to do. Kids have even more to do now, but they’re more bored than ever before.

What’s happened is that we’ve become so accustomed to living in the moment that we’ve forgotten how to live. We want to create memories every second of every day. We want to snap selfies making cookies with our kids so that ‘they remember how much fun we had,’ when they grow up. As if they won’t just remember how much fun they had. They don’t care about a picture of the backs of their heads making cookies, but we have to take it, load it to social media and live in that moment of ‘likes’ and adorable comments. We forget to live; and it’s a problem.

What has happened is that we are so focused on creating this amazing life at all moments that we forget to just enjoy the moment. Wait, let me stop our conversation and snap a photo of us enjoying this trip so we remember it. Let me take a photo of our meal so we remember it. Let me…how about just enjoying the meal and the trip and living in the moment instead of outside the moment. If we do this more often, we will actually live. How about instead of allowing our desire to live in the moment and capture the moment take over our lives, we just enjoy the moment so that we later on realize we enjoyed the whole process?

Stop Spending Money to Make Memories

Life is not a competition to see who can spend the most money on things that are considered “Memories”. Trust me when I say that our kids have been everywhere and experienced more than most adults. They have so many frequent flyer miles it’s kind of ridiculous. But you know what they remember most when we ask them what they liked best about summer or Christmas or spring break or vacation? They say things like, “Singing Frozen in the car with daddy,” or “When we went to the store and got M&M cookies,” or “When we stayed up late and made s’mores by the fire.” They say nothing about the five-star resort or the expensive meals. It’s the little things. We could have done all that at home for far less money and far less stressful travel.


Don’t bring your phone outside to play with the kids, just go play with them. Grab that glass of wine and sit on your front porch and just watch them play while the sun is setting. When you fully engage in life, you will learn to enjoy it so much more, trust me.

Spend Time with People You Love

The more time you spend with people you love, the more memories you will create. It’s these moments doing small things and enjoying them that makes the best memories. Sure, your kids will remember vacations and you will remember trips and experiences, but what you’ll remember most about them is the people you were with during the experience. It’s not about where you go or what you spend; it’s about whom you spend it with.

Choose Happines

If you stop trying to create memories and just choose to be happy, you’ll find that it’s so much easier to live your life in a manner that makes you feel happy and content. The moment you stop trying to cram an experience or memory into every second becomes the moment you free yourself of all things that are weighing you down and making you feel unhappy and less than thrilled. It’s simple, highly effective and a lot more fun that being a wreck all the time.

Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images


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