How many times do we hear leaders, writers, and people of enlightenment who say: live in the present moment. I read something this morning that said: “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other called tomorrow.” We are told time and time again that we need to live for today. I used to tell my patients in the medical field: Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, today is a gift. That is why we call it the present. I worked with the elderly and these quotes resonated with them a lot more than they seem to resonate with people my age and younger. They were either living in a nursing home or going to an adult day care. Most of them were happy to live just for the day as their health was declining and they were at a point in their life where death was closer than it had ever been before. Some of my patients were so appreciative for the littlest things I had to offer them. Just taking my “break” and doing a twenty minute guided meditation with them made their day. Having birthday cake with lunch made them want to enjoy each tiny morsel of the icing. How many times must we read these quotes, listen to these lessons, and be told that all we have is today to start living in the moment? This is something I am quick to preach and yet I find this beyond difficult to practice.
I rarely live in the past but am constantly worried about the future. Just like with chronic pain I must be actively doing something in order to stop thinking about the future. I use distractions for so many things which is awesome but I am working hard to get to a point where I can just literally live in the moment. I know I will get there because I have overcome so much and when I put my mind to something I make it happen one way or the other. I know this will be a huge battle for me, it always has been. And we all know worrying will never change the outcome.
There is nothing any of us can do about our past and as much as we should and do plan for the future we also need to truly try to live just for today. One moment, one breath at a time. I wake up every morning usually before five am and on the few days I do not have a list and plan for the day my first thought is: what am I going to do with my one year old all day? Then like clockwork (literally) it is somehow already five pm and I have no idea where the day went. Time flies! My daughter will be two in February. I want to enjoy today just for today with no expectations of tomorrow or even tonight for that matter. My goal for this coming year is to truly work on living for the here and now. It is all any of us have. “Enjoy this moment, this moment is your life.”