“Please be here,” my husband pleaded when I hung up the phone in tears. It was December of 1984, and we were living and teaching school in Vienna, Austria. It was the 2nd time I had spent Christmas away from my close-knit family in Phoenix. The first time had been during our first married year when we were living in Venezuela. We had decided we would take advantage of our 3-week winter break to travel around South America. On Christmas Eve that year we found ourselves in La Paz, Bolivia, sitting at a bar on the top floor of the Sheraton because it was the only place in the entire town that was open.  I spent that Christmas alternately sobbing from homesickness and gasping for air due to the city’s 12,087 feet elevation. There I was in a moment of life that should have been filled with excitement, adventure, daring, and laughter. And I wanted to be somewhere else.

So two years later when my heart once again started pining for home and family for the holiday, I knew exactly what my husband meant. Please be here. He wanted me to be there. In Vienna. With him. Not 6000 miles away in my mind. I look back on that 2nd Christmas away from family as my all-time favorite. We spent the days hiking in the Vienna Woods near our little cottage. We browsed the Christmas markets in town – miniature cities of wooden stalls that were filled with handmade trinkets and ornaments. The twinkle lights that strung across the booths reflected against the snow-covered ground at night, making the magical village glow with the hope of the season. I learned how to be present that year.

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Decades have passed, and now I have a whole new perspective on what it means to be here. I’ve learned that stepping into the present moment is a good antidote for what ails me emotionally. When I find myself living inside my head, whether it’s too far in the future or way back in the past, I gently remind myself to please be here.  Because right here, right now, there is beauty to be found and life to enjoy. I just have to open my eyes to see it.

#Youarehere #justtellmewhattodo #rethinkanxiety #tryit #knowyourarc

Showing 3 comments
  • Liz Bebo
    Reply

    How often have I ‘wished’ to be elsewhere when, if I really stepped back and thought about it, HERE is where I want and need to be! It’s especially true around times traditionally spent with family; then it helps to be reminded that I’ve created family relationships. Thanks for your poignant post.

  • Katy Fielder
    Reply

    Thank you, Liz. I’m so glad it resonated with you.

  • Cy Vaughn
    Reply

    Katy’s dad again: Katy called me yesterday, day before Fathers Day. “Hey, I can’t be with you tomorrow. How bout we do lunch?” Done. No planning ahead.
    I said, “Great. Where?’
    “I’ll pick you up.”
    We went to Mimi’s in Desert Ridge, had a Bowl of French Onion soup, laughed and cried at memories, and she gave me a book with prompts to write my life story long hand and a whatcha ma call it knob to hold on to my phone. That’s it. Goodby hugs. She drove me home and watched until I closed the door. I don’t do walkin so good anymore, but for a few shining moments I was THERE with my Kasey.

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