Now is the Time of Your Life
Well, it’s technically still Wednesday as I write…
What a day it’s been … a topsy-turvy day … My childminder had to cancel and the friend I usually swop childcare with had to cancel, meaning my little girls were home and my son’s school was on strike meaning that he was home. I had two appointments to keep today which could have been a problem, only one of them cancelled due to the client having a cold and the other was a phone appointment, who just wasn’t there when I called! So by many accounts today was a bit of a non-event … except we really enjoyed it!
We had a nice relaxed morning. I got my son onto Skype so he can now call family overseas … then we spent far too much time Skyping each other from upstairs to downstairs. After that we got the guitars out. Before you picture a family band all playing beautifully in harmony I should probably tell you that my daughter’s ‘guitar’ is a five quid job that can’t be tuned or the strings snap, and my son’s guitar is a hand-me-down from a family member who got it from somebody else who probably didn’t want it because the strings are so high off the fret board you could slide a dinner plate under them! My guitar was the cheapest thing Argos had at the time, but unlike the other two it works. So she swung hers round her head, he picked open strings and I played the chords to The House of the Rising Sun which is pretty much the only thing I remember from all those years ago… well that and the baseline to Stand By Me. Noisy, tuneless fun was had! Then we did a lot of clearing up family stylie, watched children’s TV till our eyes went square and after dinner, made menorahs – candle holders used to celebrate the festival of Hanukah – out of clay. Finally the kids spent a good three quarters of an hour watching cute baby animals on YouTube with Daddy and running round in circles dancing to their favourite theme tunes. All in all it has been a lovely day.
My point? Well to start with I was a little peeved that my working day was effectively cancelled … but as the day really started to fall apart, I decided to just go with it … it wasn’t like I had much choice in the matter, so why not just take a break? I think life does that quite a bit, you know, produces the unexpected. So firstly there’s that element of ‘You’ll get what you like if you like what you get’ but I think it goes deeper than that. I think it’s part of the human condition – or perhaps part of the human ailment – that we tend to spend a lot of time wishing we were somewhere else, spending time with someone else and doing something else. Young people wish to be older and old people wish to be younger. Singles wish to be married, but once they get married they miss their single days. Stay at home mums miss their working life, but once they get back to work they often hanker after the freedom of the days spent at home and the time spent with their kids. When your kids are young you wish they’d grow out of nappies and get to the point where they can take themselves to school, yet once they do, you miss the cute days! Working dads can often be heard grumbling that they are out all day slaving away at a hot desk, instead of chilling out with the kids at home, but ask them to baby sit … We spend three quarters of the year wishing we were away on holiday. You lie down in bed and think about the day to come. But once you wake up and turf yourself out of the house and into the winter cold you soon wish you were back in bed … and on and on and on. You can see why it’s an ailment. Why can’t we just be where we are? With the people who are actually there, at the period in time that we’re actually at, doing what we’re actually doing… would that be too much to ask for? Can you imagine getting to the end of your time on this earth, looking back over your life and discovering that for most of the time you were here, you were so busy wishing for something else that you completely missed the joy of the moment? What a waste of a life that would be.
I think there is something beautiful in most if not all situations. There’s always something to learn, there’s always some growing to be done, and there’s often a lot of fun to be had if we can only open our eyes to it! I think life was meant to be lived in the now – after all NOW is the only time that exists, that is ever ‘live’. The past is gone, it’s just a memory, and is only as accurate as the mind or the medium that records it. The future is just a sea of random points that coalesce into the things we expect to see when we turn our heads that way. When we turn aside, those forms instantly collapse back into pure potential again … the future is just a dream. The other guy’s occupation belongs to him, and is for him to focus on right now. Summer break will come when it gets here and we can enjoy it then. The only time is NOW folks, the time is NOW. Sure we can spend time learning from the past and celebrating the good things that happened there. Sure we can look towards the future and plan. But if we’re going to put down roots and live somewhere, let’s do it in the NOW – and reap all the benefits of being present-minded. When you predominantly focus on where you’re actually at a wonderful thing happens. All of a sudden you feel light as air, because you’re unencumbered by baggage from the past or concern about the future. With all that extra energy you can make every second of now count, one by one, as you live life to the full and get the most out of every single moment. Then when each of us gets to the end of our lives we can take a final glance backward and know that we did a sterling job of the whole thing, to the very best of our ability, and the painting that was our life was a masterpiece. I like doing things properly, don’t you?
I had a very ‘now’ day today, and I liked it, so I’ve decided to have a ‘now’ week … care to join in? This week be where you’re at, wherever you’re at. Let’s live it up, guys and gals, and have a great week!
Ps: Book of the week: ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle … great book, read it when you can!