The Importance of Appreciating the Present

By Sofi Kragness, Marketing and Outreach Coordinator, Women’s Programs, RESOURCE, Inc. 

14 weeks.
98 days.
That’s what’s left.

July 30th, 2016 – the day that seemed like a distant speck on the calendar when we began our service terms – is fast approaching.

As we move into month 9 of our VISTA year, some of us are becoming increasingly anxious about what comes next. Some are looking for jobs, some have been accepted to grad school, and some still aren’t sure where their next adventure will be. One thing is for sure – we are all looking toward the future.

It’s easy to get caught up in thinking about the next phase of our lives after VISTA, and while the future is exciting, it is important that we do not take for granted where we are right now.

The truth is, VISTA has its struggles and its triumphs just like most everything we do in life. However, there are some special things that we may never experience in the same way again, which is why with all this excitement for post-VISTA life we must be careful not to let the rest of our VISTA year slip by unnoticed and unappreciated.

This morning I woke up feeling incredibly appreciative. Maybe it was the sun shining through my window or that I got a good night’s sleep. Regardless of what it was, it made me stop and think; I encourage you to do the same.

A few words of wisdom for my fellow VISTAS:

Think about our bi-weekly meetings where we have the opportunity to develop ourselves personally and professionally while surrounded by people who share similar values and passions. Where we learn from and about each other, and where we are able to understand and lift each other up. (Not to mention where we get spoiled with delicious lunches!) These meetings are something that is unique to VISTA, and something that we should not take for granted, because when it is over I, for one, can guarantee that I will miss it.

Think about our VISTA Leader, Emma and our Program Manager, Coco – when was the last time that you had people who were as invested in your personal and professional development as these two? Or who were as passionate and willing to teach you about self-awareness, community, social justice and countless other things? People like them don’t come around too often.

Think about the experience you are gaining, and the network you are building. Think about the opportunities you have to shake things up at your workplace and not worry too much about job security, just because you are a VISTA. Remind yourself how much you are learning, and how much you are growing as a person because of VISTA.

Think about all of these things.

Think about them on Monday morning when you wake up dreading the work day, or when you are sitting at your desk wishing it was 4:30, wishing it was Friday, or wishing it was July 30th. Just take a moment to reflect and appreciate, because when you wake up on July 31st you might just wish that you had these things back.

So, start making the most of every day as a VISTA from now until July 30th. The time will pass the same regardless of what comes next, so why not enjoy it?

It’s great to be excited for what’s next, but it’s even better to be excited about what’s now.