Some of my favorite pastimes take me out of the moment. I pick a zip code, put it into the zillow app and imagine a life some other place. With citrus trees, on a small farm, in an urban apartment. As enjoyable as this is, it is the antithesis of mindfulness and mediation. I could let it go. Maybe I even should let it go. Right after I let go the use of the word should.

Preparing to leave for Michigan I try to stay in the moment of packing. Enjoying the folding rather than racing through it, patting the piles of clothes and feel their texture on my hand. It lasts for not so long as I am looking ahead to the occasions I will wear these things, wonder about their appropriateness. A word that should end on the scrap heap. Next to the word should.

The boys stroke their fuzzy pj bottoms. They are old enough to remember many years now. Many trees and many houses and they tell stories looking back. The time Buckley knocked over the tree.  Not just the presents of the present. But presents past.

What would true enlightenment, of the zen buddhist type do with these memories? What is the space for remembering and imagining when your practice is right this moment?

And one more. The one I want to know. And even this wanting and wondering takes me out of the moment of course. I won’t say I shouldnt do this. But you know…

Is non fiction writing at odds with the meditative mindset. Is the concept of a mindset at odds with the meditative mindset? I digress. Isn’t digressing the point? Do you see this tangle? When I write…on this blog and for myself in long form, and even stream of consciousness (which this pretty much is) it is mainly looking back or forward. It might have a trigger from the day, but not from the very instant. And the act of observing, let alone recording as one great man has taught us inevitably changes everything.

It is confusing. Right at this moment.

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

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