BLUF – “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” -Eckhart Tolle
During the holiday break with the family, I acted like any responsible parent and brought our 14-year old daughter to a piercing studio. She wanted her upper ear cartilage pierced, and they don’t perform the piercing in Alaska for minors under 17 (I think that’s true). We went to the studio and when attempted to make an appointment…wah was, we didn’t have her birth certificate. I assume it was needed to prove I was in fact her parent or guardian. Nevermind that we have two government-issued IDs that connect me as her sponsor. In any case, my daughter was drowning her disappointment with a boba tea while I tried to find another studio. Lo and behold, I found a piercing studio 2 miles up the road that accepted our two government-issued IDs.
While completing the required paperwork, I asked if there was an available tattoo artist. The receptionist checked and brought an artist to meet me. So I’ve had this plan for roughly 9 years for a tattoo and only now had the requirements to get the tattoo: complete spontaneity. I asked the artist to tattoo today’s date and time, and the time had to be the exact hour and minute that he started on me. He wasn’t quite sure how to take the request, but after a bit more conversation he drew up the sketch and I was sitting in the chair. My daughter already completed her piercing so she accompanied me into my session. I asked her what time it was and she replied “14:33”. My artist proceeded to update my tattoo with the accurate time and began to tattoo me. I now have at a tattoo of “2018-12-31 14:33”. If someone asks me, “What’s the meaning of the tattoo? Is that when you were married? Is that when your child was born?” And my reply will be, “No, it’s just when I got this tattoo.”
Other than the funny story, I wanted this tattoo because it will remind me to be mindful of the present. As the new year commences, I imagine there are lots of people working on their resolutions and plans for 2019. I’ve done a few of my own. However, instead of spending a large of energy writing down a complex or lengthy plan, I remain in the present and remember what actions can I do right now. Can I take the moment to read? Do I have time to mobilize or get a short workout in? Maybe I’ll check on my kids to see what they are doing and learn from them a bit. Point being is that while plans of actions have value and can be valuable, if you don’t take action in the moments available to you, the plan doesn’t matter. My spontaneous tattoo has been in my plan for 9 years and only became available because I took my daughter to get her ear pierced while on family vacation. Keep an eye open for opportunities and take them. If they aren’t immediately available, find a way to make them available. If I had to summarize what I will focus on in the new year, it is taking and making opportunities. Stay present in the moment and act towards those opportunities. Most importantly, don’t go this alone. Find and keep the right teammates that share my principles, keep it simple, get some meaningful tattoos, and move forward. WIRED UP FIRED UP!