Living one moment at a time

The smell of alyssum is something to cherish. That’s why people should do it a lot. (Journal photo by Christie Mastric)

I’m trying to live more in the moment. When the urge to reminisce manifests itself, though, I make an attempt to focus on the happiest moments, although when I wake up at night, my thoughts seem to center on every dumb thing I ever did in my life.

Why can’t I open my eyes to thinking about the time I won a fifth-grade state capitals bee while convincing the teacher that Juneau was the capital of Alaska, a true triumph? Or when I got an A rating for my mini-piano recital, again in elementary school?

(I’m starting to think I peaked as a grade schooler.)

As far as planning for the future goes, I sometimes put off thinking about big undertakings. I can be proactive, but life has a way of messing up things, so often my coping method is dealing with issues as they come along.

This can be stressful. What if they quit making my favorite tissue paper? I will have to switch brands. But will my nose ever be the same? I’m already having a hard time locating my chosen brand of iced tea, but I have found suitable alternatives to quench my thirst.

The conspiracy theorist part of me harbors the thought of a mass curse being placed on me. It’s as if the grocery gods are saying, “Let’s eliminate Christie’s favorite items.” However, I suspect this isn’t true, so I try to adapt while perusing the grocery aisles. Besides, I can always think of new favorites that probably will be removed from the market at some point.

I’m beginning to think that adaptation is the key to my living in the moment. I might be in the mood for a sunny day, but if there are clouds, I will just have to look at the formations and make the best of it. Does that cloud look like my watering can or a leaping goat? It’s a fun way to pass the time.

This can be difficult. It reminds me of a “Peanuts” comic in which Charlie Brown tried to cherish each moment. As I recall, a young baseball player hit a ball right at him, causing him to collapse on the pitcher’s mound. “This is a hard moment to cherish,” Charlie Brown said.

Moment-cherishing would have been challenging in certain recent events, such as driving from Chatham to Marquette with a leaky head gasket and an oil can light flashing on my dashboard, having ear and eye infections at the same time, and dealing with rascally chipmunks that take one bite out of my Roma tomatoes and then leave.

If the chippies are going to feast on my tomatoes, the least they could do is finish them. I’m hoping that coffee grounds placed around the plant will deter them.

After all, I consider my ever-developing garden a happy spot. Seeing displaced little green tomatoes does not make me happy. However, what is pleasing to me is the sweet smell of sweet alyssum — and yes, I’m being redundant on purpose. The fragrance reminds me of childhood and my neighbor’s lush beds of this flower.

I told my mom that alyssum was my favorite flower, and she noted that it was just a border plant, but I will not discriminate on that count. I grow it in several of my flower pots, and when I need a quick hit of olfactory goodness, I bend over to smell it — if my physical shape that day allows it. I also have the option of picking up the pot and smelling it that way.

When I cannot grow alyssum outside, however, I will have to find another easy way to enjoy the moment. I’ve reconnected with the game Merged on my iPhone, so I can play it on the couch, at work when my bosses don’t see me and other places. I also am on level 2828 in Angry Birds Match.

These games can frustrate me, but it’s an easy way to at least try to have fun and attain immediate gratification.

Another method of eliciting an almost certain laugh is to watch a YouTube video of a young man making rubber chicken noises to the tune of Led Zeppelin’s “The Immigrant Song.” You’ll have to watch it to see what I mean; just don’t do it at a staid board meeting.

Living in the moment does have its limitations.


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