Yesterday, I was talking about having something to look forward to. Today, I’m going to talk about not looking too far into the future and enjoying the ride instead.
My friends’: We have a couple of friends who are wonderful to spend time with. (Well, we have plenty, but in this case, I’m referring to one couple in particular.) They are beautiful people and their third family member is their dog. She is also beautiful. She is adored. She is doted on. She is loved immensely. She also has an inoperable tumour. I’ve done my best to show support without prying and my understanding is they are doing everything they can to ensure her quality of life until they can no longer do that. At that point, they will say goodbye. This is, of course, devastating news for them and for many of the people in their circle. It would be heartbreaking for any pet owner. I spoke with one of them this week and we talked about how hard it is to maintain life as they know in light of their newfound knowledge. If it was me and I knew that I would likely lose my pet earlier than I’d ever expected, I can picture myself wanting to cry every time I looked at her. I would be a total and absolute mess. Then I started to think how sad it would be to mourn the loss before it had even happened. It would mean losing whatever time we might have left by crying through all of my uncertain emotions. My friends? They are so strong and amazing. They are going far beyond maintaining her quality of life – they are actually increasing it. This is time they most certainly will never get back and it’s time that is so precious.
Mine: As you know, our weekend is filled with good times and great adventures with our friends in Vancouver, Washington/Portland, Oregon. We saw these friends in July and ever since we have all talked almost constantly (not even an exaggeration) via a group iMessage that is one of my most treasured possessions. It’s priceless. We’ve all grown super close so when we were invited to come down and visit them, we didn’t hesitate even for a minute. It’s a tiny flight and an even smaller drive from the airport and we made it in what felt like no time. Our travel was seamless. What I’d noticed before we came, though, was that I was already worried about our trip being so short (3 nights), being over and about having to say goodbye. When I say worried, I don’t mean obsessing, I just mean that I was consciously aware of the other end of our trip. The end that starts with leaving town. I am thankful that I am aware enough that I could stop and get in check by reminding myself that I needed to think less and just be more. I mean, the other option is to worry about going home so much to that I miss the joy in every moment of a weekend that I was so looking forward to.
Different stories, yes. Same moral. We have to practice being able to shut off our worries about maybes and mights and could possibly bes in order to live in the moment and enjoy what is happening NOW.
As soon as I started my future thinking and dwelling, I forced myself to stop worrying about what’s coming and decided instead to just drink in every moment. It’s so easy to look ahead and concern ourselves with what might happen later today, tomorrow or at some other distant point. Take a breath, open your eyes, breathe in your surroundings (people, places, smells, flavours, colours) and insert inspirational quote <here>.
How do you find balance between looking forward and enjoying the moment?