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?