I’ve got a lot going on in my life, and having a laundry list of things to do each day for the next couple weeks has led me to live in a sliver of the future that doesn’t currently exist.
All too frequently I find myself caught up in an ever-expanding web of to-dos and errands that have this hydra-like ability to regenerate once I cross them off with a sword-like flick of the pen.
Basically I’m too busy for my own good, which leads me to believe that I’m missing out on a precious gift that I unfortunately take for granted: the present.
Having just returned from Mexico after filming for an organization in the Yucatán, I was forced into reflection about how and why I spend my time worrying about days that have yet to be conceived.
Sure, I was physically in another part of the world, but my mind kept returning home, to things I need to do before I move into my new apartment, or plans I arranged with friends that are slowly materializing as new days are born and eventually pass at the end of their 24 hour life spans.
I’m so bad at being where I am – that’s weird isn’t it? We have absolutely no idea of what’s going to happen tomorrow, or next month, or at any point forthcoming. And yet I’m more concerned about what’s to come than what already is.
Taking time to think back on this trip is helping me uncover a paradox of a lesson, one that’s profoundly simple: take the gift you’ve been given and run with it. There’s no telling what the future holds, but we can be certain of the gift-like nature of the present.
I have a feeling that mastering this art form takes a lifetime (or at least double the regular serving size for reaching peak proficiency in any other discipline).
And this goes hand-in-hand with all other types of art – it requires hard work and persistence and could possibly yield massive amounts of sweat and tears in order to get good at it.
But it’s worthwhile; every bit of yourself you pour out now will lay the foundation for that which the future holds.
As we continue to practice, we’ll begin to see the beauty in the patience of it all, moments becoming brush strokes that we layer one on top of another.
From this point forward, I’m choosing to invest this present, this gift of grace that has been freely doled out to me, despite the heavy truth that I’m an undeserving recipient.
Through this investment, I’m hoping to have a plethora of remembrances and stories chock full of days spent laughing and cherishing deep friends and still moments, filling up the memory banks of this life to the brim. I choose to dwell in the gift of the present, and I’ll only have myself to blame for whatever may go to waste.
Instead of fighting to love that which we have yet to see and experience in the future, we should take time to swoon over the here and now; we ought to fall more in love with the present tense.