The gift of the present moment

I woke up this morning to a quote on my favourite calendar that pretty much sums up the only way I can think of not going completely insane these days:

“Live today as if there’s no tomorrow. Live tomorrow as if there’s no today.” Stuart & Linda Macfarlane

As I do many of this particular calendar quotes, I found this one to be serendipitous. We live in such crazy times! I am taking a two week vacation from a roller coaster I don’t even want to go back on but I have to because it is called my job and it feeds my family and my dreams. We are living in times of a pandemic. People die daily, by the thousands and the scientists of the world are still pretty much scratching their heads when looking at some of the effects the virus is generating in humans. The idea of a viable vaccine even next year is a utopia. It is so easy to get overwhelmed and you don’t even need to be watching news daily for that.

We found out yesterday that a friend passed away. A wonderful 55 year old gentleman, father of three amazing children and part of a wonderful family we love. I heard my shocked partner voice something I was thinking but afraid to say out loud: he was apparently healthy, he ate well, did not smoke or over drink, moved his body, loved and was loved so very much. What matters? What makes a difference? What helps? And our guess was that nothing, really, does. And that is overwhelming.

I sat in front of the computer in the middle of my vacation to weed through emails so that I would not be swamped in a week’s time. I don’t know, maybe it is the fact that I have not touched email in a week and fell out of habit but seeing the amount of angry parent emails, change of plan emails or the tens of questions emails brought me down instantly. Where will I find the energy to go through that again? Projecting a future we can only imagine through the eyes of yesterday is very, very easily overwhelming.

All of this reminded me of one of my saving graces from Brene Brown:

I spent one afternoon last week in the loving company of one chosen family member, on the seashore, talking about … life. And she told me about this practice she has of imprinting moments in her memory that she can later pull out and enjoy once again. This particular member of my family is no stranger to tragedy, having lost the love of her life and father of two very young children in her early 30s. And I remember her telling me when it happened and when she was able to talk about it, that the only thing sustaining her and helping her move forward are the amazing memories, the moments they both LIVED, drowning in the joy of the present and not anticipating what could go wrong – for who would have guessed, anyways. This was such a lesson for me and she is such an inspiration daily, for my staying away from overwhelm and desperation. The only thing we really have is the present and inhabiting only the current moment is the path to an amazing life. However long or short.

When all is said and done, when tragedy really strikes, it will be those amazing moments, imprinted on our brains and mind’s eyes that will make the difference and fuel our ability to go through whatever our path has set before us. Be here now.

Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash

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