It's a hot, sunny day today with a warm breeze. I can hear the sounds of cars in the distance. I notice the intense heat as beads of sweat form each time I step outside to load my car with more boxes. The overstuffed containers are the necessary teaching supplies for my classroom. It's that time of year again. How quickly the restful summer passes.
As I place the last container in the trunk, one of the lids pops open. Quickly, I lift the lid to see if something has leaked or popped. I don't want ink or paint flowing onto my lesson plans. As I scan the container, my focus turns to the backside of a photo frame lying atop the soft black felt.
Time seemed to stand still. I could no longer hear the cars or feel the wind. A flush of heat came rushing through me as I stared at the photo frame. "Do I dare look?" I questioned myself. After what seemed like hours staring at the photo frame, the intense heat moved me to grab it.
I gazed at the photo, looking at every detail of the new bride and groom. I'm not sure what I was expecting—maybe tears or anger. The photo I was so intently inspecting was of my ex-husband and me. We had been married for a very short amount of time. We dated for over a year. Things just didn't work out. Judging from my own reaction, I was really OK with that.
The warm breeze pushed my dampened hair from my face as I placed the photo frame in a separate box. I finished loading my car and sat on a small, quaint wooden bench to enjoy a few moments outside with a glass of iced tea.
Reflection is a great thing—especially when it helps you realize how far you have come. As I sipped my tea, I wondered why I was not upset. No tears, no hurt, no anger. I was also not doing what I had done many times before—mercilessly blaming myself for everything that didn't work. Not this time. Actually, I wasn't blaming anyone. I was just accepting it.
Have I finally understood how to be in the now? In the present moment? I'm not absolutely sure, but I think so. It has been a very short time since my marriage ended, and I have already made amazing progress in my thinking and perceptions, especially of the past. The old, sad, daunting stories I would tell myself over and over are gone. How did I leave them behind? I believe it has been the following two steps—really a process and realization—that have finally allowed my past to stay in the past and allowed my present to be now.