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.

I really, really enjoy my hostas!

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.