The importance of living in the moment

A fishing trip for the ages

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.”

-Henry David Thoreau

This past weekend, my brother (Glen), son (Garrett) and I took my father (Richard) fishing. The occasion – a dual celebration of Father’s Day and Richard’s birthday (he turns 86 today). It was the first true outing we’ve had since quarantine.

When my son and I pulled up to the driveway to get him at 8:15 am, we found him sitting in his fishing chair next to my mother with all the essentials spread around him – 2 fishing rods, cooler and suntan lotion. He had been talking about the trip since it was first mentioned. For more than three hours, we fished and came up mostly empty. However, the entire time we were there my father had a grin on his face, as he was in paradise.

Later that evening, Glen called our mother to talk about the experience. She asked about the name of the lake where we had fished, and my father chimed in to ask, “Did you have any luck? Did you catch anything?” Why would he ask such a thing, you say? Well, my father has Alzheimer’s. In spite of not recalling the time he had spent with us just hours before, Richard had been “living in the moment”, totally engaged during our time together at the lake, putting his worms on the hook, casting his line in the water and waiting for the fish to bite, like he had done hundreds of times before. My son, Garrett, normally one that needs to always be doing something active to enjoy himself, understood the purpose of this trip and appreciated the time he was able to spend “chilling” with his grandfather.

Our bucket list for Richard (“Pops”)

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

-Author Unknown

To piggyback on the fishing trip, we have talked about other outings we will have with my father to continue living in the moment. To celebrate his birthday, we will take him to one of his favorite restaurants, and soon we will take him to the mountains to sightsee at the place where he lived for over 20 years. It’s important for us to live in the moment with our father and create these memories, even if they are short lived. We are trying to give back to him in a small way after he has done so much for us throughout our lives. My brother, sister and I have already discussed planning additional trips.

How are you living in the moment?

“The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.”

-Abraham Maslow

During these times, where we have been separated from our friends and family for an extended period of time and continue to use precautions when congregating, it’s more important than ever to find opportunities to celebrate with those you love. Life is short. Take time to create new memories with those close to you. Slow down and live in the moment. You won’t regret it!

“Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift.”

-Oprah Winfrey

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