The Power of Presence

Marlena Fiol
2 min readJan 6, 2021

Jan 6, 2021

“Wait until 2021.”

It seemed like such a monumental concept when it first started to become clear that the pandemic would carry on into 2021, pending the creation, manufacture, and delivery of a vaccine.

So, we waited. And waited. And then waited a bit more. For many, of you that meant losing almost a year of not just your lives, but also the lives of the people you love most. A year of no hugs or kisses. A year of grandchildren and nieces and nephews getting taller and older, without you being there.

And then, just like that, 2021 was ushered in as the ball dropped in a mostly empty Time Square. Surreal, yes, but also a sigh of relief.

2020 is no more.

Yet, many of you are still in a holding pattern as you await the day you can finally truly live again. Right?

Here’s what I remind myself of every morning when I awaken to the sound of Ed’s breath melding with my own: Each day we are blessed to awaken, we are living. Time may blur, days turn to weeks and then to months. Let’s stop. Take in this moment. If we find a way to be truly present for at least a single moment each day, life continues to bring meaning, even if in the smallest ways.

For me, those moments came and went last year. Some I was present for, some not. Some were big moments, such as the sudden and unexpected death of two close friends. The twisting anguish of grief brought me to my knees in the here and now. It taught me reverence for the present moment, because that’s all we really have.

Others were smaller moments like the release of my latest book Nothing Bad Between Us, an apparent marker of distinction on the long journey to publication. It brought me a mixed bag of emotions, ranging from joy to fear.

Both of these moments, so vastly different, represent for me the importance of being present in the now. It’s tempting to think ahead to when all of this will be “over,” but we have so much now to experience.

May we all find the inner peace to be present for each moment that we are given another breath. There’s so much to experience on this journey we’re on together.

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