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  • Writer's pictureMaria A. Mansfield

This Present Moment

I just got back from my niece’s wedding! What an honor it was for me to attend the ceremony. What a gift to share that special day with the bride and groom and all our families. The wedding was a rare combination of simple but classy and modern meets traditional. It was such a gorgeous day, and everyone was so delighted. It was one of those unforgettable weddings that will go down as genius!

The week that followed, I visited with relatives, catching up over late dinners and sipping “mate” an Argentinean tea as if we’d never left. So I get to see my Mom, thinking all the time how lucky I am to still be able to hug her one more time and chat. Then visiting with everyone else, for a moment, it feels like I collide into their life and share little glimpses of their daily routine. I enjoy that present moment because even if I miss my guys back at home, I know I only have a few opportunities to see my family here, so I make these moments count.

As an expatriate, I don’t have a category for the blessing to visit our family and friends back in Argentina. I get so excited about seeing everyone; my trip really starts when I’m home packing and wrapping gifts. I’ve learned that even if I’ve driven on both sides of the road, depending on what country we were living in, and have flown in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, we cannot be in two different places at once -no matter how hard we try. Yet sometimes, I feel like my heart lives in two separate locations in the world, although I can only physically be in one at a time. Maybe it was supposed to be like that to enjoy this present moment wherever we are in the world. Whatever places we go in our mind.

This trip was a new level of awareness for me. I cannot say I’ve mastered it, but I did try to enjoy every day while being present in that moment, no matter what we were doing that day. I wanted every visit to be unique and not feel rushed. I planned my days so I could spend time with everyone. It ended up being such a rewarding experience for me. I must’ve taken like five hundred photos over the visit and have enjoyed looking back at them and remembering verbatim where we were and what we were doing. I know you can easily do that with photos now, but it also takes focus and being present too. It meant the world to me that I could spend time with my family. So grateful for that second good-bye hug I gave them before I left. Now I’m here, so I enjoy my sons and my husband right here -this present moment.

I am sure that for each day, God gives us strength and wisdom to do what each day brings. Although for me, the decision to be present at this moment is a new level of awesome! Slowing down, enjoying a meal, actually listening to someone talk, finding joy in little things. Discovering new possibilities. Taking a walk outside with Wilson. Learning new concepts. Doing the best with the life we have. Taking time to encourage someone. Giving our time and helping out. Being patient and kind.

This is the year I turn 50! Can’t wait! After all these years, I’m learning we only have this present moment. I have a new mindset: to make this day, this present moment count. There’s not too much we can do about the past we cannot change, although we can certainly learn from it. We can hardly do anything about the future which we cannot control, only plan for it. That is why today is called the present because it’s a gift. Time is just rushing by, and this present moment is the only one we really have. How will we spend it? What emotions will we allow in it? Did our light shine brightly today? What will we remember about today that was meaningful?

Maybe enjoying the present moment is more about living one day at a time. Enjoying the people we love in our life, who mean the most to us. Not worrying about what we cannot control. Enjoying everything we already have. Letting go of the things that brought us sadness. Being hopeful that we can still live out our dreams. And being grateful for all that life has allowed us to experience so far. This present moment. What a gift! -Don’t miss yours!

All my best,

Maria A. Mansfield, PRS

Author: “Life Is Worth Getting Better”

“Honoring Your Recovery” &

”Tu vida merece que te mejores”


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