Practice makes perfect, presence and presents


The real question today is: Why, in all of my years of selling Girl Scout cookies, painstakingly going from door to door, did no one ever let me dress up as a Girl Scout cookie?

As I made my way down Park Avenue to grab my morning coffee yesterday I turned my head slightly at a red light to see three little girls skipping along the side walk, laughing and prancing, dressed up as little Girl Scout cookies. They had to be a mere seven or eight years old but they were loving every inch of life in their costumes adorned with the names of “Thin Mint,” “Dos-I-Do” and “Samoa.” Life to these little ones was as sweet as the cookies that they were selling.

As I drove onward, past the little cookies, I could not help but let those little girls serve as a reminder of the box of Girl Scout cookies sitting right in front of me: the perfect, luscious, sugar-coated opportunities begging not to go stale.

The human mind baffles me constantly. The fact that we can store so much knowledge, think in such a deep and profound manner and that we have the capacity to store clusters of memories from years ago. But with all the wonders of the mind, I think we still let our brains hold the reins a little too tightly. It is certainly not easy to train our minds to stay in the moment, to not edge onward to the papers due and the meetings making their way to the front of our planners. But it is worthy of a shot.

You know, they do say that practice makes perfect. And wouldn’t it be so perfect to be able to stay fixed on the present moment rather than letting it slip away to something that has not even happened yet?

It saddens me that as I grow older it becomes more difficult to be that little “Thin Mint,” spinning along the roadside, not a trace of preoccupation on her face. Shaking Off The Past. Shimmying Away The Future. Sasheying With The Present. But last night I practiced. Last night, as I popped a bottle of champagne in my white party dress and toasted to a wonderful year and a wonderful night, I said to myself, “Let this moment be enough, Hannah.”

I could have spent the night focusing on the tests that needed to be studied for, the upcoming issue of the newspaper or every nook and cranny of my future that would love to snag my attention. But I decided to focus on other aspects: That I was fortunate enough to go to a ball with all of my friends, that I have made the most of my four undergraduate years and now it is time to celebrate the hard work, that I made a place for myself in New York City next year, that I looked and felt beautiful in a stunning white dress.

My life lately feels like an exquisite novel, one that I don’t even want to put down because I am so anxious to see what happens next. But I need to be careful. Not to jump ahead. Not to skip over paragraphs to get to the point. Careful. To sit and stay reading. And let it be enough.I need to keep practicing this.

Practice. Yes,  let’s practice. Practice being best friends with the present moment. Practice wearing life out, so much, that life literally has to ask us to take a seat for two seconds to rest its feet. Because if we practice furiously, the past will get the hint and see that it already had its turn. The future will learn to be patient, it will get to spend time with us soon enough.

But the present. Oh, the present wants our attention right this very second. The present wants to grab our hands and spin us around. And just so you know, word on the street is that the present has some pretty sick dance moves. I hear it does the Soulja Boy like a pro.

Come on, I dare you to share the present moment with me. Come hang out and devour these Girl Scout cookies with me. I would adore the company and I would love to know the sweet things in your life that you are taking a big ol’ bite out of.

23 thoughts on “Practice makes perfect, presence and presents

  1. I love this, Hannah. I know that is one of my problems too….always trying to read ahead! To skip pages! To cheat and get spoilers. But, what’s so exciting about the story if you already know what’s coming?? I want to relish each sentence, each grouping of words as they are happening. I want to appreciate the way the words group together deliciously to form the big picture. I want to savor each moment. Definitely my motto right now.

    1. Jeepers, I seriously want to save that comment. What a beautiful image in my head. Well it is good that we can remind each other of the importance of this. Thanks for your great response. I really appreciate it.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  2. BeFri!! I love this post!! Not only the image of you seeing little girls dressed up as girl scout cookies on the way to Bodos, but the whole idea of living in the moment and not rushing ahead to the future. All to often I find myself wishing time would move faster here so I could just be home and I always have to catch myself and remind myself to enjoy my life right in this moment. I am going to spend this week “practicing being best friends with the present moment.” Thanks for the much needed reminder!

    Also, you look GORGEOUS in your ball pictures!! Love the dress.

    Missing you more than ever,
    Your St End

    1. My St. End:

      You were such a huge inspiration to this post! After I read your email yesterday your words really resonated with me and reminded me to have a great time at the ball. And yes, it was rough to not have you there. Just haven’t met you yet came on during dinner and I had to fight back tears but I immediately ran to the dance floor where I was bet by Car and Leanna… We danced in tribute to our pretty Prague girl! Miss you more than anything. Soak it up love, don’t let the moment slip.

      Best,

      Your Be Fri

  3. A) I love Samoas! I would dress up like one in a second. But then I might try to eat parts of myself.
    B) You look absolutely gorgeous in that dress. I don’t know if I could pull the white off, but you did.
    C) The present moment rocks. It’s really all there is. I am constantly trying to practice present moment awareness because I, too, have heard of and seen its amazing dance moves.

    1. Ha ha, if you find a place to get the costumes I would totally wear one with you! And thanks for the compliment, ha ha my mom and I debated on whether I could do white in March… but hey, it worked.

      Thanks Holly!

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  4. Oh wow…I SO needed this, so thank you. Things took a turn for the worst this weekend, but you just reminded me that I can practice smiling…practice getting out of bed when I don’t feel like it. Thank you soso much.

    1. Always happy to help. It is wicked hard to wake up every morning, no matter what, and declare it a good day but ultimately I think it is worth it.

      Hold your head up love.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  5. LOVE this attitude, seriously! The present should most definitely about making the most of right here, right now, this very moment! Good on you hey, for rocking the fancy party dress, and drinking champagne 🙂 Looks like a super fun night!

  6. “wouldn’t it be so perfect to be able to stay fixed on the present moment rather than letting it slip away to something that has not even happened yet? ”

    Such wise words, Hannah. 🙂

  7. First of all, love your dress 🙂 One thing I’ve learned as the years have gone by is that no matter how much you plan and expect things to happen, life always surprises you. So roll with it (that’s something I’m still trying to work on!)

  8. Hannah this post was incredible! You are so deep and your words completely resonated with me. I am so much of a forward-thinker that sometimes it’s hard for me to truly enjoy living in the present, and it’s something I know I need to work on. You looked so gorgeous in that white dress and it looks like you had a wonderful time!

  9. You nearly lost me when you said you wanted to be a Thin Mint, haha!

    But aside from your desire to be confectionary, the way you carefully write things still makes me smile. Maybe the essence of living in the present, though, is that we don’t need to practice. Because ‘practice’ to me in this context reeks of effort and overly thinking about things when life is here for us to be doing things. It doesn’t seem like you have problems doing that (god knows I love the random dancing, just ask my fellow commuters on the Tube home!) but I just had to toss my tuppence’s worth in 🙂

    (p.s. loving the punning of presence and presents. My not-so-inner geek is strangely proud of you for that.)

    1. Ha ha, never let it be an inner geek Stephen… Always outer, always!

      And thanks for sticking with it, even though I would make a pretty great Thin Mint. I like your thinking too… practice does seem like it takes a lot of effort. You never fail to make me think.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  10. You know, I think you’ve now changed how I look at Girl Scout cookies! 😉

    It’s easy to tell someone to “live in the moment” but it’s not easy to do it. I know it’s something I need to work on.

    Thank you for this beautiful post!

    xoxo

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