Now is all we’ve got


Now is all we've got

Have you ever met anyone that is always looking to the future?  Or how about those that are always lamenting about the past?  What about yourself?  Do you fit into one of these two categories?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve become a little tired of living for what could be.  Or to looking forward to what is to come.  Also, I certainly don’t want to be focusing my time, emotions and strength on the ‘what could have been’ either.  Or the, “Oh my goodness, look at what I’ve done with my life.” Or how about, “Poor me, look at my sad past (lick, lick).” Been there, done that. Now I’ve closed the door, locked it and thrown away the key.

There is a need, now-a-day to recognize that the ‘hear and now’ is all we can be sure of.  To not live it to it’s maximum would be a real shame.  Not to say that we should never plan for the future or look to the past in order to learn from our mistakes. Not doing so wouldn’t be wise of us.

I recently watched the movie, “My Life in Ruins”, which is a romantic comedy about a Greek-American woman who’s lost her teaching job in Athens and has taken a job as a tour guide, which she hates.  There are a couple of moments in the film where her co-worker who drives the tour bus, makes some changes for her benefit and she doesn’t even realize it. She’s too busy hating her present situation and thinking about finishing the tour so she can move back to the States and get on with her life.  She hasn’t lived in the moment.

One of my favorite movies of all time is “The Peaceful Warrior”.  There is much truth spread throughout the film.  One of the lines really caught my attention – “There are no ordinary moments”. The young man in the film is striving for a dream to be an Olympic gymnast, until one day he suffers a horrendous accident that causes him great pain and the opportunity to compete.  He wallows in his misery for a time, learns some tough life lessons, and then gets back up on his feet and conquers his ailment.

It’s an amazing story of triumph and not giving up on your dreams.  I do, however think that the whole idea about shooting for one’s dreams could very well be a post-industrial/post-modern ideology. Every generation has probably struggled with the “ME ME ME” syndrome and the youth of today may have highly unrealistic views of the world and reality, however I can’t help but think about the way people must have lived before the industrial revolution.

I remember when I was in my early 30s (which was not too long ago =), I was talking with a friend of mine about how I couldn’t stand this whole mindset of women (specifically home-makers) not being able to ‘choose’ what they would like to do in life.  I had real issues, thinking that that type of mindset was sexist and unfair (I grew up in Canada.  What can I say?). I said that it was totally wrong – the whole issue of a woman not getting to pursue her ‘dream’ and the man getting to do whatever he wanted.  My friend then looked at me and said, “Not always”.  That comment made me think of the ‘non-western’ world.  How so many men are just struggling to provide for their families.  How many of them are just taking over the family trade.  How work, life and existence depended on fulfilling basic human needs – food, shelter and clothing.

Since that time I’ve come to terms with my life and being a woman.  I love being a woman and raising my children.  I love being able to invest time into their lives and sow seeds that will germinate in the young fertile soil of their minds and form healthy, happy and secure individuals.  I’m living in the now, doing this, and being satisfied in this. Not regretting what I could have done or what I could be.  No, I’m thankfully accepting my ‘todays’ and leaving the future where it is; in the future.

Far too often, the past and the future blind people from the ‘here and now’, which is really unfortunate.  We cannot change our past and don’t have control over the future.  Now is all we’ve got. Let’s make the most of it.

Your turn. Are you living in past? Regretting the ‘if onlys’? Is it keeping you from seeing today? Are you living in the future, always looking to the ‘next big thing or event’? Are you living your life today, drinking in your moments? Share some extraordinary moment that you had today?

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46 thoughts on “Now is all we’ve got

  1. “Before you cross the street,
    Take my hand,
    Life is just what happens to you,
    While your busy making other plans…” John Lennon

    I’m leaving the future in the future, and also leaving the past in the past. While there is a part of me that is restless, I also revel in the moment of now. I agree, we can’t control the past or the future, so make the best of today.

    • Thank you for sharing Rob. I remember you talking about being restless. Something that’s tough to overcome, don’t you think? The good thing though is that you don’t allow it to ‘steal’ your today. I’m glad you revel in the now. I can tell you do by your blog.
      =)

      • The more I think about being restless, the more it has to do with doing something extraordinary today (or any day) that will be remembered or worthy of remembrance. It feels abstract now, and I’ll remain restless until the abstract becomes tangible. Does that make sense?

      • Makes perfect sense. I would love to do something extraordinary too. I guess I am in a way. And so are you. I mentioned that movie, “The Peaceful Warrior” in my post. If you haven’t seen it, DO. Oh my goodness, it is probably one of my favorite, if not my favorite movie of all time. I love that quote from it, “There are no ordinary moments”. Beautiful. It made me stop and think and consider ‘drinking’ in my moments. I want to try and do that more and more. You know, drink in my moments.
        But I totally understand what you say about wanting to do something extraordinary that is worthy of remembrance.
        =)

  2. Great post. I was contemplating this today. We are not promised tomorrow. Now is all we have. So important to ‘bloom where you are planted.’ Well said!

    • Hi Kate. Thank you so much for your input. I know I always used to be looking forward to the next big event in my life. We end up missing out on the (not so) ordinary moments of daily life. The little displays of beauty around us. Yup, I’ve chosen to bloom where I’m planted. Took me a long time to get that point though.
      Blessings =)

  3. I try really hard to live in the now, however sometimes My emotions and anxiety get the best of me and I waste precious moments stuck in the past. Great post and so important to ask ourselves from time to time. How the heck am I spending or wasting my time. One thing is for sure. We never ever get it back 😉

    • I hear you there. I used to worry so much about the future and get really anxious about it. My husband would joke about me and the “and what ifs”. I’m usually able to catch myself when I start to worry now. I try and talk it out and pray and then I’m better. However, until I’m able to come to grasp that I can’t control the future and my life is in God’s hands, it’s an emotional state of turmoil.
      Thanks for sharing, and yes, I totally agree, we never get that wasted time back.
      =)

  4. I tend to be a dreamer and a striver always living for some goal in the future. I’ve relaxed on this in recent years, but the tendency is still there. I know, in a logical sense, that living in the future won’t bring me happiness. I also know that things never turn out the way I imagined they would. So why do I keep living for the future? Good question! I’ll have to get back to you on that one! A thoughtful post chica! Celeste 🙂

    • Hey Celeste. Yes, I too was always living for the future. The next big event. Living for the experiences. I think that the older we get, the more grounded we get. Wouldn’t you say?
      Thanks for reading and sharing some of yourself.
      =)

  5. Love this post Staci, you have a way with words that gebtly but firmly bring the reader to experience the very state you are talking about….flowing with your flow…I find myself, in the Here and Now….and that is really all there is…..just this, what is….thank you 🙂

  6. Oh the pain of not fulfilling what we think we ought to have fulfilled that in the end we weren’t really sure of in the first place and yet we grieve like it’s the only shiny thing in the world and it fell into a sewer never to be seen again! Oh dear. I joke, but really, I get you on this. Big time.

    My whole life was predicated on mourning something that didn’t happen or “should” have happened, and worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet and that I don’t have much control over. And in all that fuss and muss, I miss the present. I think many of us are guilty of that. Buddhism carries many messages, but being in the present, in the moment is one. Ekhart Tolle talks about this, as do many spiritual gurus – be in the “now”. This moment right now is unique and will never happen again. So why do we dismiss it?

    Good question – human nature I suppose. I get moments where I truly am in the moment, and it’s blissful. I wish I could get that all the time, but it’s fleeting. But knowing that there is no conflict in the now (Mr. Tolle, thanks) is a freeing thing, isn’t it? No matter what is going on, there is no conflict in this very moment. I kept that at top of mind when I was dealing with some stressful and possibly life-altering stuff recently. That and the serenity prayer.

    Regretting the past doesn’t serve me any more, even though I am tempted at times to mourn over things that could have been. I imagine that is a human trait. But I also have to remember that I am not that person any more. All the things I did in my active alcoholism came from a sick mind, a diseased mind. I wish I could have changed my behaviour and words, but I was different then. As we all are different in this moment and not the old moments.

    Wonderful post, Staci…so much to chew on 🙂

    Blessings,
    Paul

    • Hi Paul, thanks for your thoughts on this and sharing a little bit of your heart. I was never one to mourn over the past, but I have spent, or should I say, wasted tons of time worrying over the future. And it’s crazy, isn’t it? What will my worrying accomplish? Nothing right? It’s just a waste of time, energy, negative emotions and sanity. Funny thing, we do it so much for so long, until one day the revelation comes. ‘Opa!” There really isn’t anything I can do about this. We are silly beings aren’t we.
      Bless you Paul =)

    • I appreciate that Richard. Thank you so much for your nice words and for confirming to me that it really is true. I so appreciate the wisdom of those that have traveled this life a little longer than me.
      Blessings to you =)

  7. Fantastic post. It is so important not to get bogged down in either the past or what may occur in the future but to concentrate on enjoying there here and now.

    I so love reading your blog posts, they never fail to get me thinking!

    Heather xxx

    • Oh, thank you so much Heather. Really. I’m deeply touched. You have made my day.
      I was thinking of you today actually. The new school year has just started here in Brazil and my son is in to his second week. He’s getting homework that is so not adapted for him. He is so smart, but the way things are put in the regular school ways makes it so complicated and very taxing on our time together (I have to adapt everything for him). We’re thinking of pulling him out and putting him in a montessori school. Any thoughts on this? I know you have a wealth of experience and knowledge concerning these things. That’s why I’m running to you with this (hehehe). Anyhow, any advice would be helpful. Do you think that the montessori way is good for autism/asperger’s?
      Blessings=)

      • It would be difficult for me to adequately advise on whether a montessori education would be better for your son due to my lack of knowledge on the Brazilian education system. Although we do have montessori schools in the UK, they are not as commonplace as they are in the US and so my knowledge of that is also limited.

        However, from what I do know of the montessori theory it would be worth giving it consideration if his current school is unwilling or unable to provide your son with the support that he requires in order to maximise his potential.

        What I would say is that a mother’s instinct is usually pretty reliable and that you need to go with what feels the best option to you and for your son at the time. If his current school is not willing to compromise in regards to accommodating your son then it may be worth giving the montessori school idea some serious consideration.

        Not sure if that helped or not, I hope it did 🙂

        Heather xxx

      • Thanks Heather. The montessori actually probably would be better for him because he classes are smaller and all. However, we’ve already bought the whole year’s curriculum of this other school and it would be so expensive to buy another school’s curriculum now. Plus, this school is soooo expensive. We have a meeting with his teacher, the pedagogical coordinator and school psychologist on Tuesday. We’ll see what comes from that.
        Thanks Heather.
        =)

      • Perhaps, if things don’t work out at the meeting next week, you could consider transferring your son in the next school year. I would hope that the meeting goes well and is productive. One would think that the school should do as much as they can to accommodate your son based on how much you are paying for his education.

        He’s lucky that he has you advocating for him, keep pushing the school to do better by him. Too many times people with learning difficulties are given less consideration than others when it comes to education etc. but with you in his corner I know that he will have the best chance possible of succeeding.

        Heather xxx

  8. really interesting, the now is very important to me, i have spent 6 years in a drug induced state ( medication) and i feel cheated of that time as i have recieved a different view to my treatment from a clinic i begged for years to be seen by. now fully here in the present i try to push as far as i can to live as much as possible, even such a little thing as making a new soup recipe with my husband feels wonderful. the little things count. i have also been confronting and sorting through the horrors from my past but i feel as if i live with those years, they don’t hold me back any longer but by revisiting them i am becoming stronger, finding understanding and also finding room for some forgiveness. make the most of every day.

    • Excellent. Thank you for sharing a tiny piece of yourself and your experiences. We can definitely look to the past to teach us important life lessons for the now and the future. I believe that we truly do become stronger through the struggles and difficulties that we encounter during our journey.
      =)

  9. Are you living in past? Sometimes when reflecting on things to try and inform future decisions I will ‘Consider’ past events.

    Regretting the ‘if onlys’? Sometimes, mostly not. Is it keeping you from seeing today? Sometimes I think yes, over consideration of such things can be a waste of our time, though much to my disgust and frustration, I do find myself having those moments….

    Are you living in the future? Quite a bit 🙂

    Always looking to the ‘next big thing or event’ in your life? I do like to plan 🙂

    Are you living your life today? Mostly, yes, I enjoy my life and try to take comfort during the hard bits, knowing they will not last and always provide me with some thing to learn.

    Are you drinking in your moments? Sometimes… and sometimes it can be a bit frenzied…

    Share some extraordinary moment that you had today? It’s 0650am – so just started, BUT it has started and after a wonderful nights sleep, that is the best one can hope for 🙂

    ML
    x

    • Thank you for the insightful comments ML. I believe that we can definitely learn from our past and the experiences we’ve had. They can be lessons for how to deal with the future.

      I used to live for the future. I was always looking forward to what was ahead. I think it’s very important to plan for the future, however I think it’s so important to ‘grow where you’re planted’. I’m at a place right now in my life where I’m staying put for a time. I don’t know how long for, but I imagine it will be a good while. I have a 7 year old son with Asperger’s Syndrome who has lived in 4 continents before the age of 2. Right now it is so important for him to have stability in his life and learn social skills in school with children that he’s been around for a while and is comfortable with. He needs familiarity right now. In the past I always thought, “wherever we (my hubby and I) go, our kids will go”. Now I stay put and my hubby’s all over the map (at least Brazil’s map). And this is coming for a girl who’s lived and traveled all over and absolutely loves experiencing other cultures. Anyhow, after all this rambling, I’m living in the now and appreciating these days and what they have to offer.

      “Sometimes… and sometimes it can be a bit frenzied…” -Now this I can totally relate to. I’m trying, more and more, to ‘drink in my moments’, however sometimes stress gets the best of me. Ugh.

      Hey, a wonderful night’s sleep is definitely extraordinary. Especially for someone who struggles with insomnia or has difficulty sleeping.

      Great comment ML. Once again, thanks a ton.
      =)
      Staci

      • You’re very welcome Stacy and thank you for both the lovely comments and for sharing your own personal experiences with your son – I imagine that there have been some great challenges in there – not only with communicating with your son, but also the strain on your family unit as a whole! 🙂

        ML
        xx

  10. I like the positive thrust of your blogs. And I like the title of your page “God Coloured Girl.” We are all God coloured. It adds a unique beauty to the world. All of us are the same in our basic design but apart from colour we have variety in personality and culture too. What a boring world it would be if we were all clones! Your blog page title is a sermon in itself.

    • Thanks for such awesome words Ian. I really like how you pointed out that we are all God coloured. Each and every person is an individual. Each and every person in unique. It’s up to us to let those colours shine. I also love the fact that you brought up the variety we have in the various cultures of the world. Being that I am a missionary with YWAM (have you heard of YWAM), I really appreciate and love the uniqueness of cultures and the redeeming of cultural practices for the glory of God. In Brazil, “Carnaval” is celebrated every year. It has become a party of the ‘flesh’, where people drink until they can drink no more, have sex with complete strangers, get high, etc. It’s four days of party, party, party. However, we choose to redeem this cultural expression, this ‘Brazilianess’ for the one that created Brazil and the beauty that exists within it. If you would like to check out a couple of documentaries that we did concerning it, you can do so here: http://vimeo.com/1155111 and here: http://vimeo.com/773187
      Thanks again Ian =)

      • Yes I looked up YWAM on the internet and checked that out. I don’t have a lot of time on my hands and that’s why an IPad and the internet is a wonderful appendage to my desktop which I prefer as I can type faster on a regular keyboard and like the big screen. I believe YWAM is one of the ways God reaches out to demonstrate a better way.

  11. Pingback: Everyone needs to take time for a coffee… | A God Coloured Girl in a Grey World

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