Perhaps not surprisingly, living in the present has always been a challenge for me. I tend to live either in the future or the past, always worrying about things I have done or things I have yet to do. It’s sad. We spoil the beauty of today. Time we could spend appreciating what we have is instead wasted on worries that do absolutely nothing to further our cause. When I think of the past, I often look back fondly and long to have those days once again. But when I was living those days, I was preoccupied with the future and what was to come! All we truly have in this life is the present moment. We must learn to live in it and enjoy it.
On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“What a challenge to live in the present! We are often so busy killing the present moment with worries about tomorrow or regrets about yesterday that we kill our todays. Ironically, all we can really do is be in the present.
Living in the present means noticing—noticing when we are tired, noticing when we need to go to the bathroom, noticing when we need to rest.
Living in the present means taking a walk for the sake of the walk, not just to get someplace. Living in the present means noticing and appreciating our now. Living in the present means doing our lives, not thinking about them.”
Women who do too much, or really any workaholic, will get so caught up in their busyness that they ignore their own needs. When in the throes of my addiction to work, I often would sacrifice sleep to spend time on myself that was otherwise being consumed with work or thoughts of work. I was permanently stressed. We can’t ignore our bodies or our minds for long without them breaking down. Living in the present is one of the most calming, peaceful, and restful things we can do. To live in the present is to be mindful. We observe. We take in the world around us as it’s happening right here, right now. We notice our own needs, and we act upon them rather than ignore them. Living in the present also requires us to do and act, rather than simply thinking about those things. We can get lost in our thoughts for the future and all that we want to do, but unless we actually take action today, we will never get any closer to achieving those things. Live for today! It’s the only day we have.