You know that moment when you suddenly understand something? You’ve heard it before, but now you actually get it? I had a moment like that recently.
I realized I have problems living. I don’t mean this in a spiritual or even a physical sense; I mean I have trouble living in the present.
I don’t think I’m the only one, either. As twenty-first century Americans, we’re constantly thinking ahead. We have our to-do lists: Clean the house, talk to so and so, go to such and such a place for an event. We’re busy finishing one task only to move on to another. It’s a never ending cycle. Part of this is just life.
Thinking ahead becomes a problem when we’re preoccupied with what we need to do after we finish our current task. When we’re constantly thinking of what has to be done, we are never focused on what we’re doing. It drains the joy, wonder, and life out of the present, and we tend to miss the little things. We fail to live in the moment.
I find that I make many of my brilliant mistakes when I fail to live in the present. Brilliant mistakes? Those actually exist? Yes they do and I make too many of them, like leaving the garage door open in thirty degree weather or locking my friend’s car keys inside her vehicle. Small mistakes they may be, but they could be avoided if my mind was firmly anchored.
Failing to listen to a friend or family member, missing a small moment that will turn into a memory, those are bigger mistakes that will cost you in the long run.
Living in the moment isn’t easy, especially for me. I’m a fiction writer, so my mind is constantly buzzing with scenes, ideas and potential what ifs. It’s not terrible to think about these things. However, it becomes a negative when you miss the moments God has placed before you because your mind is elsewhere.
Planning ahead is good, but it was meant to save and keep track of time, not take it from us. When we obsess over what’s next, we miss what’s now.
I suppose I’m telling you to smell the roses every so often. Roll down the car windows on nice days. Listen to your friends. Don’t let tomorrow steal what today has given you.
Anyway, that’s my two cents. Now go live your life.
Gabrielle Pollack (A.K.A. The Great Rising Puzzlement)