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  • H.M. Jackson

The Importance of Being Present

I just got back home from a five day trip in Oregon. If you have read “Don’t Forget to Smell the Roses,” I was actually visiting Linda and Robert (and of course, their adorable son, Weston).

This trip reminded me how important it is to take vacation, to take time and do something for you, where you are able to relax. They have a beautiful property off the beaten path surrounded by trees and mountains. The second I walked onto their property it was nothing but pure bliss. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous, the weather was perfect, the entire atmosphere had such serenity. I felt at peace, like a true relaxed, peaceful state.

Their son will put an instant smile on your face. He’s so full of joy, and kept me going! The pure excitement on his face when we would play trucks, or hide and seek made it impossible to be anything but full of happiness. In the morning when he would wake up, I’d hear his small feet pitter patter a few steps, before they’d get quiet, then suddenly he’d burst the door open to my room with a beaming grin before jumping on top of the bed while he laughed and laughed. I learned we can all take a page from the book of a three year old which is being present and having no worries. Have you ever really watched a little kid as they play? That is their only focus at that moment. I watched as Weston would play trucks, or dig in the sand. He was so focused on the task at hand and he was always smiling. We had plenty of adventures this trip. One adventure included a trip to the coast. We ran across the beach toward the ocean filling our buckets of water for the trench we built. Weston had the biggest laughs as he ran through the sand and I followed. I couldn’t help but smile as I saw his pure joy. There wasn’t a worry in the world.

I had an amazing time being able to visit with Linda and Robert too. I even went to the Christmas Tree Farm which really brought the Friday Night Tree Lot nights full circle. We enjoyed a great trip down memory lane where they reminded me of some of my high school shenanigans which provided plenty of laughs. Like the time I did donuts across our school football field and was suspended (ooops! The principal did not agree that I was Ricky Bobby). Or the time I went to their wedding, and when it was over and we got ready to head back to the hotel I went up to them and said “hey can I follow you guys? I’m staying at the same hotel but my phone is dead and my low fuel light on.” Nothing has changed there, I still have my low fuel light on constantly. We reminisced about everyone and the old days of class. The entire trip was peaceful, full of good laughter, and love.

This trip reminded me of the importance of disconnecting and being present in the moment. I soaked in each moment of laughter and love. I remembered each memory I’ve had the opportunity to experience and the excitement for those to come. Being in the moment, not having any worries, and just enjoying the simplicity in front of you is the greatest feeling. I think we can all take a page from the book of a three year old, just run free and don’t let anything stop you. Indulge your inner child, take the trip, go on the adventure, enjoy exploring, whatever it is, take the time to be present while you’re at it. It’s the best relaxation, I promise.

⎻ H.M. Jackson

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