How to Be Present By Planning Ahead

by Joe Bunting | 34 comments

Writing, for me, is not just writing. It's blogging. It's tweeting. It's sharing on facebook. It's responding to comments. It's checking stats. It's guest posting. It's a day long hustle to make this blog into something I know it needs to be.

And it's worth it.

However, at some point you give so much of yourself online that it becomes difficult to be present in the real world.

Yesterday, my parents flew in from California. I'm going to spend a long weekend playing Settlers of Catan and talking over coffee and eating delicious food. I want to be present. I want to be living in the real world.

Soย  wrote this post yesterday before I saw them. I won't check my email today. I'm unplugged.

And I do this regularly because as much as I love this blog and my friends online, the people standing right next to me are more important (someday, maybe that will be you, and I hope I will be present enough to look you in the eye and hear your story).

Have a great Sabbath, friends.

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris, a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.

34 Comments

  1. Jim Woods

    Enjoy your time with family Joe!

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Thanks Jim ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Jim Woods

    Enjoy your time with family Joe!

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Thanks Jim ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Jacqui

    Wonderful to do that. Some people can’t unplug. I hope you had a great time.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      It was a great day, Jacqui. Thanks for your comment.

  4. jacqui

    Wonderful to do that. Some people can’t unplug. I hope you had a great time.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      It was a great day, Jacqui. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Adriana Willey

    yes. i hear you. that’s a lot why i have not been “present” around here lately. i really don’t know how to live in two worlds well (you know, the one in my head) and the people in front of me just can’t sacrificed. i’m not giving up, though. it’s a noble pursuit to be true to self and others at the same time. i hope you have a lovely time with the people in front of you today. also – to let you know – i do check in here often and am still learning from the posts and others’ practices. as far as my own practices, i’m working out how to write and be present too. so far i haven’t come up with any brilliant balance. press on, joe. you’re doing great.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Thank you, Adriana. It’s a difficult balance to find. Especially once you have children. I can’t imagine.

      Writing, at its best, can make you more present to life. But so many things around writing are “present destroyers” (like procrastinating through email or facebook, to use one of my own pitfalls). Good luck finding your own balance. It’s a life long pursuit.

    • Adriana Willey

      sorry to be stalk-ee but night time is my time and morning is coming quickly so it’s now or never. “writing at it’s best can make you more present to life”. yes, that’s why i was initially so drawn to it. but then i found that i was trying to capture everything [which is harder than one would think] and the words became bigger than the life and i am left with two worlds instead of one. add in all of the people you meet online and poof – there’s a third. what started out so refreshing feels overwhelming and emotional. and barely worth it except i keep coming back. it’s not out of my system, i can tell. i’m not writing this just to be “raw” and whiny. i am writing to see if this is a common experience – a “resistance” of sorts. and if so to see if you have any tips how to live in both worlds – well. you’ve followed this path much longer than i.

    • Joe Bunting

      You’re such a stalker. I’m so creeped out (not). ๐Ÿ™‚

      I have a few thoughts.

      I think we as a race have always felt and will always feel fractured. We will never be wholly present all the time. Ecclesiastes says the best you can do is enjoy your food, work, and wine. If that’s the pinnacle of existence, it stands to reason few people make it there, and those who do don’t get to stay there for long.

      Second, yes. The internet does somehow make our attention go in a thousand different ways. I love making friends through the internet. It’s a long strange story but I met my wife through a friend I made on a blog. But these friends can often feel temporary. They are just words on a screen and tiny little pictures. That’s the internet. Maybe try to meet your internet friends in real life or chat with them on the phone. It always makes me feel more whole when I do that.

      Third, I’ve been there, trying to get every detail down. It’s exhausting, but it’s also good for you. You’ll become more comfortable with the language and your voice and it won’t be that hard (or it will be just as hard, but it will be more natural). (by the way, I keep thinking our particular writing paradigms are alike.)

    • Kati Lane

      Adriana,
      Do you mind if i do a little stalking of my own? ๐Ÿ™‚ i don’t think i’ve had the chance to meet you yet…but i had to say hello, and thanks for being open about an important topic that we’d all do well to consider.

      I am just wondering if the people you love will one day be glad for the work that you are doing now to live in two worlds?

      My dad died last year. I would give every last penny of my inheritance to have him live on through his own written words. Fiction, memoir, journal entries, new year’s resolutions, grocery lists…i’d take anything now! I do have 13 photos from my childhood that tell a silent story of our mutual affection, and easy comfort together. As much as they have to say…I still would trade them for purposeful words he could have shared with his pen, that could help me feel close to him now.

      having this new perspective on legacy is helping me prioritize my own writing. i’d love to know if this angle would make a difference for you. with care – kati

    • Adriana Willey

      good thoughts. thank you. ecclesiastes happens to be my favorite book of all time. maybe you like it too because our writing paradigms are alike. so what’s a writing paradigm? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Adriana Willey

      KATI,

      for some reason it won’t let me reply to you on your comment but THANK YOU for your thoughts. i’m sorry for your loss but i really appreciate the insight it has brought you – and that you shared with me. i often wonder if my innermost thoughts or little details like grocery lists would matter to anyone but then i think how much i crave these things from my closest loved ones (like you do from your father) and then it doesn’t seem as pointless. i had the idea this morning to keep writing in my blog and to print as a family memory book, which would eventually go to our children. my eyes welled up at the kitchen sink…a good sign that i’ll keep writing :).

      again THANK YOU for your encouragement. i am encouraged.

      and it is a pleasure to meet you ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kati Lane

      Adriana, that’s an AWESOME idea! i should probably do the same thing. physical books are more reliable for permanence than the online world (barring house fires of course). do you have a place that you use for making digital books? if not i may have a referral for you.

      and yes…that’s one of the great things about tears, as awkward as they can be at times. they help us figure out what we believe in!

    • Joe Bunting

      Adriana,

      I think a writing paradigm is just the way you look at your writing, the way you look at the world, in other words.

  6. Adriana Willey

    yes. i hear you. that’s a lot why i have not been “present” around here lately. i really don’t know how to live in two worlds well (you know, the one in my head) and the people in front of me just can’t sacrificed. i’m not giving up, though. it’s a noble pursuit to be true to self and others at the same time. i hope you have a lovely time with the people in front of you today. also – to let you know – i do check in here often and am still learning from the posts and others’ practices. as far as my own practices, i’m working out how to write and be present too. so far i haven’t come up with any brilliant balance. press on, joe. you’re doing great.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Thank you, Adriana. It’s a difficult balance to find. Especially once you have children. I can’t imagine.

      Writing, at its best, can make you more present to life. But so many things around writing are “present destroyers” (like procrastinating through email or facebook, to use one of my own pitfalls). Good luck finding your own balance. It’s a life long pursuit.

    • Adriana Willey

      sorry to be stalk-ee but night time is my time and morning is coming quickly so it’s now or never. “writing at it’s best can make you more present to life”. yes, that’s why i was initially so drawn to it. but then i found that i was trying to capture everything [which is harder than one would think] and the words became bigger than the life and i am left with two worlds instead of one. add in all of the people you meet online and poof – there’s a third. what started out so refreshing feels overwhelming and emotional. and barely worth it except i keep coming back. it’s not out of my system, i can tell. i’m not writing this just to be “raw” and whiny. i am writing to see if this is a common experience – a “resistance” of sorts. and if so to see if you have any tips how to live in both worlds – well. you’ve followed this path much longer than i.

    • Joe Bunting

      You’re such a stalker. I’m so creeped out (not). ๐Ÿ™‚

      I have a few thoughts.

      I think we as a race have always felt and will always feel fractured. We will never be wholly present all the time. Ecclesiastes says the best you can do is enjoy your food, work, and wine. If that’s the pinnacle of existence, it stands to reason few people make it there, and those who do don’t get to stay there for long.

      Second, yes. The internet does somehow make our attention go in a thousand different ways. I love making friends through the internet. It’s a long strange story but I met my wife through a friend I made on a blog. But these friends can often feel temporary. They are just words on a screen and tiny little pictures. That’s the internet. Maybe try to meet your internet friends in real life or chat with them on the phone. It always makes me feel more whole when I do that.

      Third, I’ve been there, trying to get every detail down. It’s exhausting, but it’s also good for you. You’ll become more comfortable with the language and your voice and it won’t be that hard (or it will be just as hard, but it will be more natural). (by the way, I keep thinking our particular writing paradigms are alike.)

    • kati

      Adriana,
      Do you mind if i do a little stalking of my own? ๐Ÿ™‚ i don’t think i’ve had the chance to meet you yet…but i had to say hello, and thanks for being open about an important topic that we’d all do well to consider.

      I am just wondering if the people you love will one day be glad for the work that you are doing now to live in two worlds?

      My dad died last year. I would give every last penny of my inheritance to have him live on through his own written words. Fiction, memoir, journal entries, new year’s resolutions, grocery lists…i’d take anything now!

      Of course, the memories of time he spent with me as a kid are important, too (even more — the photos that prove it!)

      i’d love to know what you think. with care – kati

    • Adriana Willey

      good thoughts. thank you. ecclesiastes happens to be my favorite book of all time. maybe you like it too because our writing paradigms are alike. so what’s a writing paradigm? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Adriana Willey

      KATI,

      for some reason it won’t let me reply to you on your comment but THANK YOU for your thoughts. i’m sorry for your loss but i really appreciate the insight it has brought you – and that you shared with me. i often wonder if my innermost thoughts or little details like grocery lists would matter to anyone but then i think how much i crave these things from my closest loved ones (like you do from your father) and then it doesn’t seem as pointless. i had the idea this morning to keep writing in my blog and to print as a family memory book, which would eventually go to our children. my eyes welled up at the kitchen sink…a good sign that i’ll keep writing :).

      again THANK YOU for your encouragement. i am encouraged.

      and it is a pleasure to meet you ๐Ÿ™‚

    • kati

      Adriana, that’s an AWESOME idea! i should probably do the same thing. physical books are more reliable for permanence than the online world (barring house fires of course). do you have a place that you use for making digital books? if not i may have a referral for you.

      and yes…that’s one of the great things about tears, as awkward as they can be at times. they help us figure out what we believe in!

    • Joe Bunting

      Adriana,

      I think a writing paradigm is just the way you look at your writing, the way you look at the world, in other words.

  7. Ruth

    you’re a good man joe bunting. i’m sure your family appreciates that a lot.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Maybe. Sometimes I wonder if they WISH I were plugged back in ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Ruth

    you’re a good man joe bunting. i’m sure your family appreciates that a lot.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Maybe. Sometimes I wonder if they WISH I were plugged back in ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. dan snyder

    two thumbs up for sabbath and being intentional. much love, bro.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Thanks, Dan. You were Jerusalem with David, right? You know what I’m talking about.

  10. dan snyder

    two thumbs up for sabbath and being intentional. much love, bro.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Thanks, Dan. You were Jerusalem with David, right? You know what I’m talking about.

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