It’s hard not to anticipate life and always hope for something better, or something that will make us happy and complete. This, we do throughout our lives, chasing that which will make us complete and happy. The chase never ends unless life forces you to live in the moment.
In recent years, I have become more aware that life is fleeting and that in my case, looking too far ahead serves me no good. It makes me fearful, worrisome and it does nothing but cause me grief and sleepless nights. But, now, since the 13th of January this year and every event that followed, most of my fears and anticipation are gone, just like that! Like a slap in the face, one by one.
Life is unpredictable and every day there is a chance the route might change and there is nothing we can do about it but go with it.
I’ve realized that as I stand today, I can only focus on the very near future. One day, a week or one month at a time at most, but not much further. The earthquakes that shook my life these past few months have enabled me to change my outlook and my life in many ways:
- I worry less and, therefore, am not only more productive but enjoy the “now” more.
- This living in the “now” business helps me to be more realistic about the near future and more positive since I am taking small bite sizes I can actually chew on.
- Making short term decisions is much easier than making bigger long-term commitments, which allows me to focus on whatever is at hand.
- I am more appreciative of what I have. Loss does this to you.
- I am more present with friends and family.
- I am much less in a hurry since my to-do lists are shorter term.
- I am much more aware of my surroundings, nature and those beautiful everyday things I usually didn’t notice before while I was trying to control and predict my imaginary future.
- I am more aware of my mortality too and that of others, so I take things more lightly and I am more grateful of that extra shared time I have in this world.
- Nothing is black and white, there is gray too.
- I don’t control anything. I do my best and hope that the outcome is one I can deal with patiently and with the tools I have.
- Every day I say, “Thank you.” Just this helps me to start my day on the right foot.
- It’s important to forgive and also know when to ask for forgiveness. Nobody is perfect and least of all, I.
- When I’m with people I don’t check my phone. Whatever it is, can wait. NOW is not the time.
- We start with a new white canvas every day and I try to paint the best picture I can muster. Tomorrow I have a new one to work on.
- I’m not alone and I am loved. This has probably been the sweetest lesson of all.
And yes, no matter how hard we try to live in the “now,” I believe the time comes when you effortlessly are forced to live this way. No amount of wanting it or training usually changes us. Only when the time is right.