It was a special morning…an anniversary. We
dropped the kids to school and headed into town.
Breakfast has always been my favorite meal. I
love relaxing over great coffee and healthy fresh
food, especially in one of our great local cafes.
We had not spent much time together recently. I
suggested we have breakfast. We parked the car
and walked through the picturesque town just
waking up. The newspapers were laid out in front
of the kiosk, the boutiques and gift shops still
The sounds and smells of coffee brewing drifted
over as we chose to sit outside and watch the few
morning strollers walk by, the shop owners
starting their day.
One of best things about living in a small town
is getting to know everyone. It’s a friendly
place, the atmosphere was warm and accepting. I
felt at home.
We ordered. The coffee arrived. I took a deep
breath and we began talking.
Then my phone rang. I wouldn’t usually answer I
said, but this is urgent, it will just take a
moment. It took just a moment. But it took so
much more than that.
He gazed away, almost managing to hide the
flicker of disappointment and resign. He said
nothing, he didn’t need to.
When did it happen?
What were we thinking?
When did we decide that it’s okay to carry a
phone and answer it at any time, no matter where
we are and what we are doing?
When did we start thinking that we needed to be
contactable at all times?
When did we forget to be truly present in the
moments that are the most important?
When did I forget?
For years I took great pride in not being
dependent on ‘being contactable’ all the time.
I would laugh at the absurdity of people calling
their partners from the supermarket to check
what’s in the fridge.
I would judge all those business men that would
talk on their phones while watching their kids in
I would frown at the mothers that didn’t notice
their kids calling out for attention while they
continued chatting with their friends.
I claimed to be fully present at all times.
Who was I kidding? How incredibly arrogant I have
And so, realizing the humanity of the distracted
and distracting world we live in, I’m doing my
I’m trying to be mindful and present. Not at all
times, that’s just not possible. But at least to
be aware of those special moments…and as I become
more aware, they become more frequent!
Being present is such a gift to the person you
chose to be with. It is the ultimate gift.
For me, it’s no longer enough to be present when
I coach, to be completely present when I tell
stories or when I’m with my clients.
As I read ‘Peace Is Every Step’ by Thick Nhat
Hanh, I’m learning to give that gift more often.
How do you stay present? I’d love to hear your
story. Please comment and share.
Best wishes and best stories