The Here and Now

It’s something I’ve always struggled with, but have never fully accepted (I’m in denial about it). The idea that I tend to live not so much in the present but in the future. It’s an exciting and dangerous place to be. The unknown lingering around every turn in the road, opportunity and disappointment, hand in hand. It seems that living in the present is even more challenging when there is so much uncertainty about what the future holds, exactly the opposite of what I expected.

I find myself pondering the places we may go, or the new challenges we will face. I think about the friends we have made, and how I’d love to take them with me, a kind of permanent community of people. I wonder if our lifestyle will shift again, and what that will look like or what it means for our adventures into self-sustained living. So many thoughts, so little time!

The now, as we often hear, is all we have since the past is gone and the future has not happened. There is no guarantee that tomorrow will even come, yet that is what I often find my mind drifting to in the quiet periods of my day. Then, to my surprise it’s the little moments that bring me back, my son’s laugh, or my daughter’s smile, or even toast burning in the toaster. I realize I have great things before me, in the now, children who love living life and whom I enjoy spending time with (when they aren’t screaming) and a husband who is in many ways is perfect for me and my many flaws.

When I do focus on the now, I’m more grateful for what is before me and don’t worry as much about the unknown. I can be more at ease and a better parent and partner. I accomplish more tasks, I am a better friend and I give more of myself to my community than I do when I spend too much time wondering of the coming days/weeks/months down the road. This is definitely my ideal – living life to the fullest, and not spending time worrying/pondering what life has in store, in excess.

You may be wondering why I’m even writing about this, but the fact is I think many people may have the same issue in their lives. We spend so much time trying to get ahead, gather more for ourselves, thinking of the next steps and not spending time reflecting on what we have with us now. I personally believe it’s made us as a society less grateful, more entitled and overall less happy. As a society, we spend less time with each other and more time working jobs to get after that “almighty dollar.”  Not exactly living life to the fullest if you ask me.

Now I’m not saying to never plan for your future, go for that degree that provides a better way of life, or to use common sense and prepare, but preparation and planning should not be your only way to live. We as a society can’t live life hoarding our titles, possessions and money in anxious anticipation of what the future holds. We have to take advantage of the here and now. We have to be a community of people who support one another, live in the now, and just live.

It’s all we have.

I’ve been trying to be more present and to live life to the fullest in the here and now, since really, what do we have but one second to the next?

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