The concepts of living in the moment and appreciating the uniqueness of now can sound too weirdly complicated to be a good fit in our aggressively busy world. Society pushes us into feeling that we must do EVERYTHING, and when even that isn’t enough, we’re urged to multitask so we can do even more.
I remember living like that. I remember always rushing… hurrying to get something done, hurrying to meet some obligation or another. Living in the moment wasn’t something I even thought about… that didn’t happen until after my back injury and those long months of trying to recover.
At first in those early days and weeks I was just waiting for time to pass and for my life to be normal again. It took me a long while to admit that the pain and limitations I was experiencing WERE my life now. It was then that I realized I had a very real choice. I could just wait for time to pass… feel sorry for myself and grieve for the life I had lost and the things I couldn’t do any more… OR I could learn to appreciate what was still good about my life and make an effort to change my focus to the things I still could do.
That was a real turning point.
I’m making this sound easier than it actually was, but amazingly I slowly began to realize that life was still good. My physical condition didn’t improve for a very long time, but my thoughts and emotions did. Eventually… and this was a huge surprise to me… I realized that even on the very worst, most painful days, there was always something in my life to feel genuinely happy about.
I just had to look for it.
And that is what living in the moment means to me. Nothing weird or complicated… just the simple process of leaving yourself open to truly appreciate what is already there in your life.
I have printed this out for my best friend. She suffered a stroke 2 years ago. She is partially paralyzed on her left side and she is very depressed. After reading your article I realized that she has never reached the turning point you did. I want to help her so badly and I think your words will be very inspiring to her and help her to look to the future and her blessings. Thank you so much.
Blessing to you my friend. As always you are an inspiration.
I just found your blog today and I am so impressed. I have been reading here since late morning. It is now time for dinner and my family is waiting. I can’t stop reading!!!
Another great post – you have given me so much to think about. Wishing you the best. I just love your blog.
I’m going through the same transition this year. So many lost opportunities from the past that I must simply let go of and look to the future.
I love this … I really have always tried to live my life with no regrets .. but I have had a couple of things happen recently that really made me rethink my life. I don’t want to always be looking back saying I wish I had done this, or I wish I hadn’t wished my life away! I’m really trying to live in the moment, and be thankful for what I have! Like you said, easier said than done! :)
Thank you for this post. I am dealing with a recent injury. Out of work for my fourth of five weeks and just realizing that I haven’t even begun to heal yet…I was managing the Fibromyalgia (I tell myself) and then a few different things are going on with my foot and ankle. I need to depend on people, I can’t work because I commute by bus, I am home with myself. Oh, and the pain. If it didn’t hurt like this, I would not have slowed down, and I needed to slow down and let go of some things for awhile…
I am seeing more and more than I need less things and more time with people. When I am here alone during the day – I don’t miss my job, I call friends, spend time being creative and finding different ways to do what I never gave a second thought to before. Even if I never went back to work – I have so much to do and be grateful for. Finding this post tonight was perfect timing. Everything is perfect timing, and I had not realized how much I was missing! All the best, Michele
Found you while looking for an easy way to clean oven racks. Thank you. I will be checking back often, i love your site. Especially the fall leaves.
reading this was such a really big aha moment for me… thanks for sharing this
I am so thankful for so many things. My husband just brought me a warm rag to wash my make up off. That made me smile . We have been married for going on forty years, and I am grateful . A day without pain is such a blessing . Running water makes me happy. A house to live in . Zucchini and peppers from my garden today. A day full of sunshine. A bed to sleep in tonight. Than you for your words.
If we focus on what we DO have, rather than what we DON’T have, life gets a whole lot better! Appreciate the little things, they will add up to big things in your life.
Very well said, realizing the good you have where you are, and being grateful for that. This is harder than it looks, think parable of sower; we have to navigate hard paths with little to root in, sometimes the soil we choose is shallow, and we wish to move again… how about the weeds of worry, excess, and envy… these encumbrances are my killers. There are also people/things that enter our lives and steal our joy; disease, accidents, 9/11, …. We have to remember it is not about us.
I too have come to that point of centre and mindfulness (though not ALL the time). After 50 years of abuse and privilege, both from myself and others, I am finally entering that space I could always feel somewhere in my mind.
Yes, then, one has moments of pure happiness: the running water, the warm fire, the winter wind, the happy dog, the thoughtful husband (I was a single mother for 13 years), the blackbird who bathes twice a day…
On a different note I found your site because I googled for soy allergy last night as I woke with a pounding heart and felt awful after eating a “healthy” raw chocolate bar yesterday. I knew it wasn’t the cacao as I eat it regularly but remember the ingredients contained lecithin from soya so decided to check (I and my daughter are severely celiac). I had also been painting yesterday and using gilding wax; AND ate tinned tuna….sigh! I look like a chipmunk this morning.
All to say what a wonderful sight and site (the photos are lovely – I do my own too) and such reassurance too. I am just in the final stages of a fundamental declutter as my daughter has gone to university and I am moving on to the next “simpler” stages of my life.
Thank you so much for sharing. I shall visit regularly.
With love and blessings,
Beautifully said. As I’ve seasoned, I’ve learned that the moment is the only thing that is real. Yesterday is nothing more than processed memories and, of course, the future is nothing more than a place where dreams and hopes rest.
Stumbled on this site as I am always looking for others living a simple, frugal, debt-free life. This year was a year of indebtedness from a failed business. I made a decision to never, ever let that happen again. I’m still a ways away but looking forward to leaving the nursing profession by the age of 52. I enjoy so many other things; gardening, wildlife, environmental activism, etc. None of this did I even know about myself until I was humbled from the debt. It a way, it was an enlightening. Love your blog!
Stumbled into your site when checking out soaking beans. Like your comments on Living in the Moment. This applies to anyone in any situation. I’ve been divorced for 3 yrs. after 32 yrs. in marriage. Your words speak to me as well. I have to stay focused on the now and am so grateful for all, especially friends.
Have a good day!