Instead of saying, “I’m going to…”

Summer party at the home of a new acquaintance.

My husband and I sat in the backyard, and the host told us about the Jeep he’d bought in order to take his family on summer adventures. Before this conversation, I didn’t want to drive a Jeep around in the Arizona desert. I still don’t. But he described the Jeep with such delight that he almost made me want to.

Everything about this guy exuded enthusiasm. Not just because of his off-road vehicle. A current of optimism ran through his stories about work, observations about his kids, the electrical wiring project that he was doing himself. And here’s the thing: it didn’t seem like effort and it didn’t seem like an act.

When it was time to leave, we walked past the Jeep on the way out.

My husband said, “Looks like you’re going to have a lot of fun.”

With the biggest smile, our new friend said, “We ARE having a lot of fun!”

Present tense.

You can hear this advice from a hundred places: Live in the present. It’s said so often that it sounds both cliche and abstract. But it wasn’t difficult for this neighbor of ours to just say, out loud, the experience he’s choosing as if it were right there before him.

I’m thinking about that. When I pay attention, I catch myself either longing for or worrying about the future. Or I alternately regret or wish for yesterday.

Instead of “I’m going to…” I’m trying out the simpler, happier, “I am.”