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Is there really such a thing? As humans, we are always thinking about the next thing. Whether it is a professional accomplishment or a personal milestone, the future is always at the forefront. This summer, I have discovered the one question that should enter our minds instead. We SHOULD be asking ourselves, “What about the present?”

The reality is, we do not give this simple question as much thought as we should.

I did something that I have never done before this summer in an effort to embrace contentment. I looked at my phone one time in a five-day period. Let’s think about that for a moment…one time in five days. That is HUGE for me! In an era where phones have become our lifelines to the outside world, dependence is at an all-time high.

To be honest, the main reason for minimal phone usage can be attributed to the fact that I did not have an international plan. Not wanting to pay the fees might have been the initial reason, but truth be told, I loved the break from it! I did used the camera feature but steered clear of email and social media. The break helped me clear my mind, really get into a good book and just be present with my family.

We told stories. We played games. We enjoyed laughter and music. Most of all, we were content.

I’m not certain if it was because we all made an effort to truly live in the moment, or the geographic location that we enjoyed or both, but the outcome was…the BEST vacation!

In fact, the vacation was so good that my son cried because he did not want to leave. He was just overcome with all the feelings of a great time surrounded by those he loved in a magical location. In retrospect, I might have missed that sweet moment with my son if my attention was on my phone instead of on my family. Instead, I was next to him on the hammock sharing a memorable conversation on what made our time together so very special. That conversation shaped how I look at vacations going forward.

I want to spread that contentment into everyday life, but it is a challenge.

This is a challenge that I am ready to accept.

It is healthy and vital to the human spirit to have goals and aspirations, but NOT at the cost of foregoing what we have currently.

Look around and just be present. Be content.

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