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Focus on now in the new year
While I was out running, a fog rolled in, blocking both the path in front of and behind me. Over the next few miles, my focus was on my immediate surroundings surroundings that were wonderful. - photo by Arianne Brown
On a recent snowy run, I stopped for a second to tie my shoe. As I was doing so, some movement caught my eye, and I looked up to see a rather large jack rabbit that was quickly moving along the hillside above me then he stopped. For what was only a few seconds, I stood still and watched the rabbit as he sat in the snow, scanning the landscape ahead of him.

Knowing how rare it is to be able to watch a jack rabbit sit still, I reached down to grab my phone so I could take a picture. My movement, however, must have triggered a response from him because the second I went to snap the picture, he darted up the hill and out of view.

Bummed that I missed the shot, I put my phone away and continued my run.

As I looked ahead, I noticed fog had begun to settle in around me. The white mistiness of the low-lying clouds rested on top of the snow-covered earth below, making it difficult for me to see more than a few feet ahead of me. I turned to look behind me, and it was the same just white.

Fortunately, I knew this trail well and was confident in my ability to make my way back home without any problems.

However, the fact remained that to ensure that I stayed on my path, it was imperative that my focus was on my immediate surroundings surroundings that were absolutely breathtaking.

Over the next few miles, I saw deer and rabbit prints intermingled with the occasional bird print. I saw drifts and swirls in the snow that were made possible by the howling winds the night before. I saw my own feet shuffle through the powder and heard the snow crunch under each shoe as I pressed my feet down in constant, forward motion. The sound of my own breathing and the feeling of the bitter cold on my lips as I inhaled each breath of winter air made me feel ever so alive.

What I realized over those miles of running in between mists of fog-filled air was that even with my past and future paths being completely blocked from view, focusing on the moment was very much as gratifying, if not more so.

As I enter the new year, I want to take what I learned from this run and apply it to my life.

Sure, I will have past experiences guiding my decisions and a future to look forward to and make the best of. However, I will also have the present, which is something worth focusing on and even celebrating.
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