Life is a series of forgetfulness.
We grow up as kids forgetting our families to spend time with our friends. When we get to be adults we forget our friends to spend time building our careers. Once we are seasoned professionals we forget our careers to search for what truly makes us happy. At least this is what history has taught us.
The past several months have caused me to pause and remind myself that time is not on our side. We may have a few days left and never know it, or we can have decades lined up waiting to be lived. But the only way we truly live is to savor today – the seconds and moments as this post is being read.
We too easily forget to live and appreciate the moment. I have bounced from letting what has happened in the past haunt me, and the uncertainty of the future worry me. So much so that I haven’t allowed myself to be present. I’m missing living today for tomorrow, but when tomorrow comes, it is always the chase for the next day. There’s nothing wrong with the thrill of the chase, I won’t lie, but even the adrenaline rush can’t match the simple stillness of the moment.
The truth is, when we don’t live in the present we aren’t living at all. I can imagine that when looking back on our lives, we won’t fondly think of the days we spent late at the office, or the times we worried if things would work out.
The times that are etched in my brain are the ones that are the most carefree, the spur-of-the-moment adventures and simple moments of just being. I fondly think of the nights of drinking beer with my friends on the porch of our college house. I think of the stupid nights laughing until midnight in the library when work should have been completed. I think of car-rides with no particular destination. I think of coffee shops with quirky tables and chairs and drinks that quite literally make you feel you are in a London fog. I think of nights wearing sweatpants playing board games, or randomly running through sprinklers. I think of family traditions and the amazing food that intertwines it all. I think of sandy beaches, crystal blue water, cliffs, and skylines, rushing cars and windows down.
When I remember the times that truly define my life, and where I have truly felt alive, the moments of adventure, spontaneity, stupidity, and laughter always rise to the top. When I do get bogged down by the stresses of life, these are the ones that remind me hope is the greatest thing we can all hold onto. When I am crippled by the sadness of life, these are the ones that remind me there is still so much happiness to be enjoyed in the lives we have.
So, in a world where it is easy to get lost in the worry and be bounced around from past mistakes to future uncertainty, will you find your time to live? When it is all too easy to forget, what will you remember?