I get so tired of New Age Gurus and other “Experts” telling me I have to focus on the present. My memories are a great source of joy; they also contain the lessons I’ve learned that make me who I am today. The future is my goal, it’s why I endure today.

seattle houseboat communityBecause, let’s face it: sometimes NOW sucks. Sometimes it’s downright unbearable.

If I focused only on the present, I wouldn’t endure the hives that come with exercise. If now was all that mattered, I’d eat chocolate all day. I wouldn’t be taking classes required for graduation in subjects that don’t interest me. I wouldn’t have the goal of graduating. I’d never take the potential hangover into consideration when opening, or finishing, a bottle of wine. I’d spend my rent money on airfare to Hawaii, or France, or Greece.

If I lived only for the moment, I wouldn’t have gone through chemotherapy.

If I lived my life in the now, I likely wouldn’t have a family. My marriage started with the idea of the two of us spending the rest of our lives together. You have to look ahead to make those kinds of dreams. I would also be repeating the same mistakes over and over, because learning from those mistakes requires looking back.

I realize that there may be a time at the end of life when now is all I have. I’ll take that when I get there. Until then, I will continue to enjoy my memories, and reach for my goals.

I’m not opposed to embracing the moment. I’ve written about how my daughter gave me the gift of now. It’s important to live in the present, but it has it’s time and place. We need a balance. Each moment of our lives must be informed by our past, and driven by our dreams and goals for the future. Otherwise we’re just stagnant hedonists, and that’s just pathetic.

Judy Schwartz Haley


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