02.23.12: Be Here Now

Perception of time is a curious thing, isn’t it?  Mondays drag, weekends fly by.  High school felt like an eternity when you lived through it, but in retrospect, it was a blur.  A minute is a short amount of time … unless you’re doing crunches, in which case a minute is forever.

My baby girl is a full-on toddler.  She loves to run and holler and laugh and eat.  She’s stubborn, but she’s also fairly easy to divert, so the tantrums tend to be minimal.  She loves to read books and dance.  We’re thinking about mother’s morning out programs, and preschool.  How did this happen?  Wasn’t I pregnant just a minute ago?

I’m told that this sense of time flying, and the accompanying sense of powerlessness over that flight, comes with parenthood.  Of course, you don’t have to be a parent to look ten years into your past and think, where did the time go?  But something about watching a little person morph and grow and change before your very eyes makes the awareness of fleeting time more acute, I think.

So slow down.  Savor and enjoy now.  You don’t get now back.  If you spend all of your time thinking about then and when, then you don’t get any now, and you’re constantly living one step ahead of yourself – you’re in your own shadow, and your back is to the sun.

Part of living a healthy, well, balanced life is wrapped up in understanding the importance of the now.  We’re either obsessing about the past, or fretting about the future: growing in your career, paying for college, losing that last 10 pounds, running that 5K, finally going on that vacation, bolting out the door when the shift is over.  And I encourage planning and preparing.  Get your preventive screenings, eat right, make plans to be physically active so the week doesn’t slip away and you haven’t laced up your shoes one single time.  But in all that planning, there has to be some quiet, still, now-ness.

I’m also not on the other end of the spectrum, suggesting that now is all there is, that living on impulse is the way to go.  Sorry.  Eating that cheesecake now isn’t part of the program.  Plan, prepare, focus, and enjoy.  Keep your wits about you.

I’ve said before that we should all take life lessons from my faithful Dog: he’s blissfully happy for every walk, every meal, every nap, every visit from a friend.  He enjoys everything, and expects nothing.  I’m not always good at that – especially these days, when I’m careening from one “got to” to the next “need to,” “to do,” and “forgot to do.”  But I’m going to try to do better, and appreciate all of my now, and savor.  Because at this rate, she’ll be in high school tomorrow.

Today, right now, is Square One, friends.  Enjoy it.

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