This Moment

girl on roller skates

My dad is standing at the kitchen sink looking outside the window. He’s standing there with his arms crossed, just looking outside at the trees. Back then, our house’s backyard was somewhat secluded. Neighbors on each side, of course, but in the back…there were only trees. Today, when you look out that same window, there isn’t a creek or any trees. Just houses.

But this is 1990-something. I’m in the sixth grade. I’m trying to convince my dad that he should allow me to go to an all night skate at Skate-A-Rama, the local skating rink. Truth be told, I have no real reason to want to go, other than just wanting to skate. None of my friends are even going. However, I had taught myself how to kneel skating backwards and I have a new pair of speed skates. I’m like an addict and the thought of skating ALL NIGHT LONG was just too appealing to pass up.

My dad is pondering my request. I keep spouting off the information that would help him say yes. The doors are securely locked. Kids can’t leave unless the parent who signs them in picks them up and signs them out. I’m just going to be home sleeping, otherwise, wouldn’t you want me to spend time getting exercise? (Despite the fact it’ll be 4am)

He’s taking too long to answer. In my frustration and impatience, I make a remark about how I can’t wait to be an adult and all these wonderful things I’ll be able to do.

My father nods his head and continues looking out the window. “You live too much in the future. You’re always about next week, tomorrow…it’s never today. One of these days, you’re going to wish you’d taken more time thinking about this minute than always thinking about five hours from now. Life is quick and there will never be another day or minute like now.”

I stare at him blankly.  With as much tact as I could muster, I ask, “So…is that a yes to go to all night skating?”

I’ve been thinking about my father’s words a lot lately. I have been finding myself constantly thinking about the future again, mainly because I’m so dissatisfied with the moments of today. Yet, today is the only day I’ll ever have. This minute…this hour…there will never again be another one like it. It hit me pretty hard this morning: I am exactly where I’m supposed to be today. I can’t possibly predict the reasons why and how it will all benefit me later…I only know it will.

Live life in the present…accepting life for what it is today and not for what you wish it will be. Today is the beginning of the future you want. Make it count. 

The same thing goes with living in the past. I’m the worst at dwelling on past mistakes and all the would’ve/should’ve things that overwhelm my brain. I’m way too hard on myself. I have a hard time forgiving myself when it comes to my own faults and shortcomings. For example, I have forgiven the man who cheated and broke my heart, but I never truly forgave myself for taking him back just to have him do it again.

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, but to live in the PRESENT moment wisely and earnestly.” Buddha

My morning ritual

Appreciating each moment-each second –is fundamental to being present. I am still trying to figure out this new life I’m experiencing…a life that I had never planned…and it is easy for me to want to soak in self-pity. However, I’m mindful that this is all leading towards something. I am learning to absorb myself completely with whatever it is I’m doing. I’m writing these words right now as my dog sits besides me. Soft music is playing in the background and I’m sipping on my vanilla chai tea. I’m not worried about what I can’t change…I’m only concentrating on what is the right now.

And I’m grateful.

Jen Sincero writes in her book, You Are a Badass that gratitude is the gateway drug to awesomeness. 

“The more consistently you stay in gratitude and focused on that which is good, the stronger your connection to Source Energy is, and the more quickly and effortlessly you’ll be able to manifest that which is unseen into your reality.” – Jen Sincero
When you are in a constant state of being appreciative and grateful to what the universe has already given you…you’re then  exerting positive energy which has a rippling effect. 
Living in the moment doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have futuristic goals. I have made a small vision board that when I’m feeling discouraged, I will look at it. This helps me remain focused on the goals I’ve set for myself. It’s important to set goals for the future…but keep in mind the actions you take today are what will help these goals be achieved. Your daydreams and fantasies shouldn’t take over from living in the moment of today.

Accept life as it is today and have trust that everything will work out. 

Have trust that everything will work out just as it should. Firmly place yourself in contentment for the here and now…not living for a particular day in the future when things are different.

Allow faith to be your best friend.

My father did allow me to go to the all night skate. I was so intent on wanting to go, that I didn’t think about the eight hours of actually being there all night. You can only skate for so long…and after a couple of hours, I was ready to go home. None of my friends were there and I was the youngest kid in the entire rink. I was this tiny sixth grader with coca cola bottle glasses and a frizzy/curly hair who found herself at a rink with a bunch of eighth and ninth  graders.

However, I had the most fun I had ever had in my life at that point. All those kids were cool to me and were impressed with my pair of speed skates. I remember clearly skating around that rink at 2:35am and thinking, “This is the best moment of my life!”

 Make today the best day of your life.   


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