As we barrel into 2021 with so much still unknown, my plan is to focus on what is right in front of me as much as possible.
One of my 2021 goals is to experience what is true, what is now.
It saddens me to share with you that the harshest consequences of the coronavirus disease reached the inner circle of my friends over the holidays, as we lost a wonderful friend from church due to COVID-19. As one can expect, the emotional impact of this loss was significant on her family. We were also able to observe the beautiful celebration of her life, which caused me to ponder the importance of focusing on the present.

Planning for the Future
While preparing and planning for the future is still important, we can’t forget what is happening right in front of us. There are so many beautiful situations and events taking place on a daily basis, and some of them are so subtle.
For example, while attending mass recently, I observed a police officer helping an elderly man walk up the church steps.
While walking out of a Sam’s Club, I witnessed a gentleman helping a customer place the heavy water bottles into her car.
There’s also the story of a group of friends who delivered a basket of food and snacks to a couple in quarantine.
Despite the negative impact of COVID-19, it’s beautiful to see so many people focused on the here and now. If we never take the time to look up in the present moment, we may miss out on so many wonderful experiences happening all around us.
Make the Best of It
While encountering difficult moments in our career paths, it is often essential to focus on the now to be successful.
Recently, I received an email from a student who lost his job because of the cutbacks made by his employer from the effects of COVID-19. He was upset, scared, and even angry he was out of a job.
During a telephone discussion, he told me it was unfair he was released from his position while other less-capable workers stayed on the payroll. He blamed the unfortunate situation on workplace politics.
I could relate to the situation. Early in my career, I was also given the pink slip when the company leaders decided to save money by rightsizing. In fact, I was only 24 years old at the time, which is the same age as the student who reached out to me.
I was embarrassed, angry, and unsure what to do next. My termination package included 30 days of compensation, which meant the pressure was on me to find employment. I needed to find the positive in this moment and focus on the task of securing a new job.
Thankfully, the company hired an agency to help us transition to a new job. I took advantage of the present circumstance to update my resume, and I had my first appointment with the staffing expert. This was an excellent opportunity because the person I met with was committed to helping me succeed. Yes … one can say she was just “doing her job,” but this level of care and attention was important to me during this time.
In a matter of a week, I landed an interview with the University of St. Thomas in Houston. I’ve been affiliated with higher education since that time.
By focusing on what was right in front of me, I was able to solve my employment problem, which at the same time prepared me for the future.
Of course, we all will encounter the ups-and-downs of life, but truly experiencing our lives in the now, and resiliently taking on life as it comes will make us stronger along the way, helping us to stay on our feet and to keep moving forward moment by moment.