In my memory Elaine Cannon went on from that quote to apply the concept to the daily life of a teenage girl. When I pulled the book out, though, I found that what I remember as being part of the book were actually my own thoughts on the subject, because that essay doesn't expand on the quote the way I remember it. So my teenage thoughts on being present were this:
- Don't just hang out with friends - cultivate friendships.
- Don't just sit in class at school - apply your mind to learning.
- Don't daydream during sacrament meeting - seek the spirit.
- Don't just say your prayers - communicate with your Heavenly Father.
- Don't put in an hour at the piano - progress in your ability.
I got a lot done during those teenage years, and I get a lot done now. However, as much as I have been motivated by the idea of being present, sometimes I struggle with it. For example, when Jaclyn was 3 years old I read the book Nurtured by Love by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. I really liked Dr. Suzuki's philosophy toward talent education, and I decided it was something I wanted for my children. As I looked into Suzuki piano lessons, I found out that a local college offered Suzuki teacher training classes in the summer, and I decided to audit the course. I was telling a friend of mine about it, and she asked me why didn't I actually register for the course. I told her that it would cost a little more money, and that I'd have to prepare an audition tape to apply as a participant. She reminded me about my commitment to being present when she said, "If you're going to spend the time, you might as well get the credit." I practised the piano, made the audition tape, and achieved my level 1 Suzuki teacher training.
I got another reminder of my commitment to be 'present' from a quote on someone's blog. (I hate it when I can't reference a source - please comment if this was your blog and I'll edit this paragraph!) The quote gave me just the nudge I needed to get me out of lurking and into blogging:
"It is weak and despicable to go on wanting things and not trying to get them." -Joanna Fields
And that is basically the story of my URL: Stop Monkeying Around. Be present.
It was Stacy's blog! I'm so glad to have that question answered!