It’s okay to enjoy the present.

I like to swim, but I’m hardly fast at it. Rather than gracefully cutting through the water, I flounder, with awkward technique and uneven breathing.

The one thing I have, though, is consistency. When I swim and put on goggles, I blend into the background of whatever environment the pool tends to be. Because I’m slow, boring, and rarely break my pace, most everyone tends to forget about me after a few laps.

The few times I have been approached, usually after leaving the pool, the questions always the same: “How many laps did you do?” It doesn’t matter age, sex, or weight, the question comes from every walk of life.

When I first was asked this, I tried to make up a number. “30? 40? 50?” I would lie, but what came next would always be the same. Some sort of harmless compliment, some pleasant niceties.

But honestly, I didn’t know, and I didn’t care. Because my goal wasn’t to swim X number of laps. My goal was to unwind, and think. It’s an environment where I’m not tempted to wear electronics. Underwater, I can barely hear anyone speak, and when my eyes follow the line, I can’t see anyone either.

Every time you do something, you can always measure yourself against something. A goal you must hit, a person you’re always chasing. This could be because of Past experiences, or moving towards a future you envision for yourself.

But sometimes, it’s okay to be in the present. To just think, reflect, and enjoy the moment while it lasts.

Written by

Healthcare-focused UX designer and researcher. Creator of two online courses on design communication and UX research planning:

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