Our Present

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It’s crazy how we always yearn to savor the present, but we never really do. We search for enlightenment everywhere we go, in books, in our travels, thinking that whatever our purpose is, is out there for us to find. We’ve read all these books and all these quotes to remind us, to instill in our minds, that the most important time of our lives is right now. And I’ve fallen into that trap of wanting to taste the present, but always and forever only worried about the past and the future.

Right at this hour, I evaluate my actions. I’ve been calculating my actions ever since I was a kid. I’d calculate how many minutes I’d have to spend to take a bath so I could sleep longer and not be late for class. In calculating, I missed minutes of what could have been used for sleeping and manage to get to class on time. I calculated the minutes I’d spend eating, so that I could go back to playing with my toys in an instant. I calculated the hours it would take to reach the destination, neglecting the idea that the car ride is also part of the journey.

Up until I started working, I calculated. I calculated the number of cigarettes I’d smoke to pass time. I counted the minutes I’d have to review essays so I could have my next cigarette. I calculated the number of cigarettes I’d smoke before walking back up to the office and write ad copies, only to find that I have had the two cigarettes I was planning to smoke, wasting 10 minutes for just calculating time.

And then when I’ve been out of jobs, I worried myself in calculating the hours, days, weeks and even months of when I’d be employed again only to find myself facing a new job right away.

None of the minutes were used to savor the present. And I even lied to myself for having savored the minutes. All the time available was wasted on mere calculations of what should happen next instead of really being in the moment. Within those days of worrying about when I’d be employed again, I failed to see that such time could have been used to do the things I said I would do when I had the free time.

All the time, we calculate our next steps. We count our minutes. We have been programmed to manage our time, so we don’t waste any. But in such calculations, we fail to see that our stress, our pain, and our sorrows all come from the moment we face the failures of our calculations. We become stressed when things don’t go according to plan — the plan we’ve calculated meticulously, enthusiastically, and even, wholeheartedly. The plan we wasted time on.

All these simply because we’ve worried our selves too much of our future that we forget the “now”.

Sure, the things we do with our present would lead us to a prosperous future. But how much of the future should we worry about that we forget to care for our present? If we don’t immerse our selves in the now, who knows what our future would be?

There are two things we can be certain of: the events that have happened and the events that are currently happening. We can never be certain of what’s to come in the future, on the next day, or maybe even within the next second. Because one way or another, something, somewhere, somehow, could mess it up.

I’m not saying go out and do the stupidest things in the world. Making the most of the present doesn’t have to be grand. I guess what we have to do is simply do the best of our abilities in whatever our present requires of us.

You’re not getting any younger. Stop wasting time worrying about what might or might not happen. Just go do it. Do what will make you happy. Do what is best for you. Do what’s best for your heart.

Whether it’s walking, singing, dancing, crying, painting, writing, Instagramming, Facebooking, accounting, working, or studying: just do your best with it because it is your “present”, it is your “now”.

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