Too often, way too often, we are too busy worrying about the past and/or the future to actually live in the present and enjoy the moment. As a result, we miss out on what the present has to offer.
In my case, I have several regrets in relation to the past and I, often, feel like kicking myself for doing certain things or allowing certain things to happen to me. Especially so when things in the present look particularly bleak. I find myself wondering whether if I had not done so-and-so my life would have been better or even less complicated. I think so much about all that happened in the past that I let it affect my present. I find myself scared and hesitant to do something which I might or might not regret. I find myself second-guessing myself. I find myself living in the past more than the present.
In the event that I do stop thinking of the past, I find myself worrying about the future. I worry about where I will be 10 years from now, I worry about whether I will be happy in the future and I worry about how my present and the decisions I make here and now would affect my future. I try to think 10 steps ahead and of all the permutations and combinations possible. I over-think everything I do or want to do. I find myself living for the future and not in the present.
So, here’s the thing, between living in the past and living for the future, I have no time to live in the present. When I am not kicking myself for being foolish in the past, I’m spending my present trying to ensure that my future is wonderful and secure. So what, if my present is wonderful or secure, who has the fucking time to enjoy it! Instead I need to ensure that in the event I suffer from some terminal disease 20 years down the line, I must have enough money to pay the medical bills to avert or at least postpone death. So what, if I am dying a little everyday just feeling stressed out over something which might not happen at all.
I forget that my present, the here and now, is what is real at this moment. What has happened has happened and there is nothing I can do about it. What will happen, will happen and I will just deal with it then. I can’t predict or control the future and no matter how hard I try things will not necessarily work out the way I want them to. Instead, I could be happier just enjoying life as it is and paying more attention to all the beautiful things around me. I could live for the moment. After all, life is fickle. I may not live to be a 100 so why worry about how things may or may not be at that age. Why not enjoy how things are at 26 when I am energetic, young, excited and can dance for hours!
- Shit happens. Get over it!
- Que sera sera. However much I may try, I have no control over the future. I just have to deal with things if and when they happen.
- Live in the here and now.
- I couldn’t resist this rather corny one- The present is a present! (Besides, for all I know, this could be an etymological breakthrough.)
(This post is inspired by another blog post written by Dan. Thank you, Dan for the inspiration and for teaching me something.)