“I LIKE SOMEONE WHO EMBRACES LIFE; WHO WANTS TO BE ON A LONG JOURNEY BUT HAS NO PARTICULAR PLAN OR DESTINATION IN MIND. AN ADVENTUROUS MAN, OPEN TO LIVING LIFE IN THE MOMENT.” ––Jill Hennessy, actress
At risk of fully embarrassing myself and the guy I am dating, I must disclose that I find myself entertained with a gentleman who my sister, Tammy, introduced me to a month ago. (It is ok to be shocked, I don’t quite believe it myself.) Most recent hashtags consist of things like:
Ya, I’m kind of having fun with him. We have really enjoyed our time together and all my friends have commented on the light in my eyes or watched the tears roll down my face as I laugh hysterically at a text he sent me. Any single divorced woman of eight and thirty can’t help but wonder, where will this––I mean, really, who doesn’t–– go? I usually stop myself long before I come up with any substantial possibilities, but in the moments when I do let myself wonder about how it will all end, I find myself quite anxious. Why? I’ll tell you.
Wanting to know how it will all end this early in the relationship is like skipping to the end of a book and missing all the tender moments that lead up to the happily-ever-after. I desperately want to take it page by page. In reading, isn’t the beginning just as important as chapter 3 where the foreshadowing starts? Or how about chapter 6 when the hero’s imperfections begin to evolve because he hopes to win the heroine’s heart. What about that first time their hands touch? Would you really want to miss that? I can’t imagine skipping chapter 8, the ballroom scene, when he overcomes his anxiety and takes that bold step and asks for a second set. Then you wonder about how the book would not be complete without that walk that turned disastrous due to being caught in the rain, because that is when her heart beats wildly in her chest for the first time. In chapter 15 our hearts want to shout just how excited we are that she finally saw the true character of the man she had not truly appreciated until that moment. And a few pages later we see just how he brings out the best in her. Would we really want to skip that moment when we think it will all be ruined unless someone humbles themselves and apologizes? By this time in the book we are so invested in reading to the next step that it is unconscionable to skip the scene when he throws his pride aside and travels two days to make things right because that is when that long awaited kiss occurs.
My point is that each and every step, each page of life, is a buildup to the next step and we cannot deny ourselves the journey by predicting the end of the book. We should live in the moment and not worry about what was in our past or fear what might happen in our future.
There is an old adage that says, “The past is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why they call it the present.” No one knows how our life’s book will end, but if we are consumed with predictions or fear for what is to come, we will miss the most important part: the journey. The here and now is so much more important than the destination. Our only goal should be, are we better today than yesterday? Each step on the path can change the content in the epilogue.
But this correlates more than to reading, writing, or my sorry love life. It has to do with realizing the value of the second and the minute compared to the year. Take a moment and think about your last interaction with you mom. Or maybe it was the moment when your dog begged your attention. At any given moment, the opportunity to seize the day and create lasting memories, (memories that if compiled could create the most diverting book), was upon you, and you were given the choice to capture it forever or let it pass you by. In a single day, you could have hundreds of opportunities to write the next scene in your book of life. Did you live in the moment?
I heard a thought that makes my point in five short words: presence is the best present. Be present in your life. Do not let the past restrict your potential. Do not let the future, be it destiny, or karma, or how the stars are aligned, or some other cosmic force tell you the end of your story. Live your life day by day and celebrate each page of your book. That is how it should be. That is how you create a classic life story that is sure to be a bestseller. I can tell you, if I you live your life in the moment, I’d buy your book. This blog has gotten rather long and I could probably go on, but really, Pooh says it best:
I am giving away a book of your choice of my three published works (Mr. Darcy’s Promise, Pride and Persistence, and To Refine Like Silver) to one lucky winner. All you have to do is comment below on the blog or tell me about a time you lived in the moment and how it changed the epilogue of your life’s book.