I keep coming back to this paragraph…
“Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say ‘I think,’ ‘I am,’ but quotes some saint or sage. He is ashamed before the blade of grass or the blowing rose. These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God to-day. There is no time to them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence. Before a leaf-bud has burst, its whole life acts; in the full-blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root there is no less. Its nature is satisfied, and it satisfies nature, in all moments alike. But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future. He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, from his essay “Self-Reliance”
I’m not sure it could be said better. It is hard to be in the moment, to not “stand on tiptoes to foresee the future”. From the time we are small our parents, teachers, and relatives are asking “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. In high school we are asked, what our future plans are. After we have finished school and become what we have grown up to be, we then need to think about investing, buying a house, building a retirement. We are always being pointed to the future, always being encouraged to think beyond today. As adults we complain that teenagers live in the moment and aren’t thinking about the future. But maybe that isn’t always a bad thing. Maybe we should each learn to spend time in this moment. Even if it doesn’t seem important or “big”, spend time embracing just this moment.
I know I’m just as guilty as the next person of worrying what tomorrow might bring, worrying about bills that will come, worrying about the future of my family.
I’m 37, but I always feel like I’m running out of time, like my best days are gone. I spend time regretting how much I wasted my youth, which is now time wasted in regret.
It is also ok, not to fill every moment. There doesn’t always need to be something going on, it is ok just to exist in silence. Enjoy the moment of just being.