Sunday, February 5, 2017

Living in the Moment

You see this advice all of the time, along with memes about it and advice from all of the self-help gurus, about how important it is not to live in the past or the future, rather that we need to live in the present, the here and now. However, being human means we carry memories of our past and have dreams for our futures, so that's not always so easy to do. Maybe that's why there are all of those reminders around. 😉

Sometimes it can be harder than others. Just a few days ago (2/2/17) was the 10 year anniversary of the day I married my late husband, and the 9 year anniversary of the day I scattered his ashes. From the time we changed from being friends to dating, we only had two years and three weeks...such a short time. We only legally married to get him on my insurance and get treatment for him because we knew he was sick and we had a guess that it was cancer. We were right, and he was Stage IV with laryngeal cancer by the time we got him to a doctor...probably by the time we got married...and eight months later he was gone. I'm remarried, have been for over six years now, but it was still a hard day for me because one thing I'll tell you is love never dies, but you do live on and can even love again.

That day was a catalyst for me, though. I thanked him and let him know that I'm very grateful for the time we had together, and that after 20 years of being a lone wolf, he let me in so that I was there for him during that time. (We realized once he was diagnosed that it was the sore throat that began the week after we started dating.) Nothing happens by accident. Then I let it go. I realized that I can't spend the rest of this year thinking about a decade ago. 

Today my 83 year old father is going to the hospital because he's been sick all week and now he feels there's fluid in his lungs, and I can't go see him because he lives over 14 hours away. Part of me is scared because my dad is rarely sick, and it's even more rare for him to go to the hospital. I know what can happen, but I can't dwell on that. I also know he's in great health for his age and wants to live for at least another 12 years. He's active and takes good care of himself...all should be well, so I'm staying in today and looking forward to my next trip home to see him and the rest of my family.

I need to live in the here and now, appreciate all that I've been through, remember it all fondly, and live in full appreciation of today. Breathe it in, enjoy it, savor it no matter what is happening, because we really don't know what tomorrow brings and we can't dwell on it. We can't turn the clock back and we can't move it forward.

Yes, dream of the future and the things you want to achieve, build and accomplish because that gives us something to work and build toward today. Those are the carrots you can dangle in front of you on a bad day at work or at home. But appreciate the moments that you're living in now because those are what builds your tomorrows--even the bad ones because we learn and gain strength from those. 

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