It does take some work and effort to live in the present, remember. If it feels hard, then it’s because it is hard. Living in the present requires us to be consciously involved in developing this skill (of living in the present). Otherwise, our mind will always wander, and the focus of our work (and our rest) will not be as clear (or effective) as it could be.
It is important that we participate in this process—that we do our part, as much as it depends on us. We will find that a good deal is connected to how we choose to proceed—we can be a source of comfort and happiness for our families, or we can be the opposite. We can pour good things into our children and spouse/co-parent, or we can pour the opposite. We can choose this day, this moment, that we are fully here, for them—or we can choose the opposite.
Living in the present is something that is helpful to us and our family because it keeps us in touch with reality (whether desirable or undesirable), which in turn helps us to move through this life in a more authentic and dynamic way. Spontaneity and what is called “flow” happens more easily when we are operating primarily in the present (instead of languishing in the past or worrying incessantly about the future). Raising children is a whole lot more enjoyable when we have the ability to live fluidly and not so rigidly—and this sought-after spontaneity and flow both help us to live more fluid, flexible lives.
So whenever we notice that we are dwelling a bit much on the past or the future, we can gently remind ourselves to come back to the present and to focus on what needs to be done now, today. And if it’s not a matter of needing to “do” something but of thinking about something, then we can remind our minds to think about the current state of things (even if unpleasant)—we can focus on the positive aspects of our life as it now is. We can be thankful for our children and our marriage and our home and our life-purpose. We can look forward to the days that we have yet to greet, and we can have hope for the years to come while making peace with the past and using, to our benefit as well as our family’s, the experiences we’ve had and the memories we hold.