I, like most people, am terrible for living in the moment. In fact I would almost say it’s one of my worse habits. I hate that some of the places I’ve visited or things I’ve seen have been marred by me moaning that I’m cold, or that I’m wearing the wrong trainers, or I’m thinking about where we’re going to go for dinner that night. That’s not to say I haven’t been to some lovely places or seen some lovely things, what I mean is I tend to have this sort of retrospective fondness for things and places. At the time though, I don’t think I could say I was truly ‘in the moment’.
So, it made me think of any times I would say I actually was in the moment. A time where I was fully immersed in what was happening around me with not another thought in my mind other than enjoying the there and then. You know how many moments I can think of? Two. Two moments in 40 years.
And I’m sad to say, my own wedding day didn’t even make the cut. That’s not to say it wasn’t amazing and one of the happiest days of my life but there are niggles at the back of your mind; is everyone having a good time, am I going to get red wine down my dress, should we have said yes to Ant and Dec filming Saturday Night Take Away with us after all? Etc etc.
The first time I was 100% in the moment was a week before my 30th birthday when I went to Edinburgh to see Madonna perform the MDNA tour with Ang and Janine. Not touted as one of her best albums, it’s one I’m a bit of a fan of but whether you like her newer stuff or not is largely irrelevant since it was during her rendition of Like a Prayer that I lost myself. I was with two of my best friends, I was in the best health of my life, dressed up in neon wigs dancing to my favourite artist of all time sing one of my favourite songs of theirs and I was in love with life that night. Not just me, but the whole crowd danced and sang like it was some kind of religious experience (that might have been because of the choir). But it was just an incredible atmosphere which made for an incredible 6 minutes. I would have paid the £60 we spent on those tickets just to hear that one song.
Time number 2, did involve Dave this time and was when we were on honeymoon in Australia. We thought what better way than to start married life together than to hoy ourselves out of a plane for fun? We were up in Cairns, the weather was beautiful and we ended up sky diving over the Great Barrier Reef. You’d think that at the forefront of your mind when doing something like that would be ‘holy crap I hope I don’t die’ but I actually felt extremely calm. I relinquished all my trust in the hands of my surly divemaster Jeremy and as I tumbled out of a plane so old, the safest way down was to jump out of it, the only thought I had was ‘how bloody cool is this?’
All that day in fact we were both on a high. We’d discussed beforehand whether Dave would want to see me leave the plane or greet me on the ground and as luck would have it, he got to do both. Since he experienced a slightly longer free fall than me (Jacko, his diving mate forgot to open the parachute at the right time basically) he overtook me in the sky and was there waiting for me as I plummeted to earth arse first. Jacko then advised, nay insisted that we go and get drunk to keep the high, otherwise we would just have an adrenaline crash and fall asleep. So got drunk we did.
So, those are my two experiences. But here’s my question. Do you think that losing yourself in the moment is within your control? Because to me, those two moments happened naturally If you try and force it, will that not just take you out of the moment even more? Let me know your thoughts!