self-care

If I only had five years to live

If I only had five years to live:

I would let the small things go:  That argument with my husband; that misunderstanding that eats at me when I get quiet; that car that almost rear-ended me as they sped through the yield sign.  It doesn’t matter.   The annoying sound that usually puts me in a tailspin when I’m trying to focus.  I will let it go.  It won’t become an ingrained memory that I look back on.  It’s not a part of my legacy.

My mind and energy deserve more than this.  If this is all I got, then I’m making the most of it.  I would cherish and savor all the moments.   I would linger a little longer outdoors no matter the season to slow down and touch the ever-changing ground as it goes through its seasonal cycle.  I wouldn’t hurry and live in my mind of to-dos and being driven by tasks and lists, which leads to a hurried, stressed out, overwhelmed, rushed, fatigued day that beads into weeks and a lifetime.

I will seek out to experience life to the fullest for each day is truly a gift.  I will be grateful for my loves and my life lessons.  My time will not be squandered.  Do I want to travel while I still can?  Do I want to get caught up on what matters most?  Conversations with my friends.  Walks with Jeff.  Coffee dates.  An easy morning to set me up for an easy life.

In the end I know it will feel brief.  I will wish I had more time.  But ultimately I will feel fulfilled and that I had a life worth living.  That I sought out my own happiness and didn’t get caught up in dread, fear, worry, or future tripping.

The future is uncertain.  We do not have a timeline or our lifeline set in stone or guarantees of when and how it will end.  We just have today and our breath and our hearts to beat.  I will be here taking stock, creating memories for my loved ones, feeling that my time and energy is focused on what truly matters to me.  At least with this choice, I will feel whole and complete.

I want to thank my husband for challenging me to think and blog about this topic.   His blog is here:  https://amorereasonablemind.wordpress.com/  If you were told you only had five years to live, how would you choose to spend your days?

self-care

Hedging our bets on an unknown future

Future tripping is not really a gamble but the stakes are our very lives.

The future lives in the unknown and sometimes we get that dopamine hit like the lever of a slot machine.  Will today be my lucky day?  Will I go pro or go home?  So we go outward, discarding the mundane and instead wishing the day away to a future point.

We end up not appreciating how good we have today:  Our lungs to breathe.  Our hearts to beat and pump.  Life force coursing through our veins.  Our loved ones here today to share a meal or a hug.  To think it will be better or I will feel complete or more organized/fit/healthy/alive in the future makes us miss the target.  The point is that today is all we have.

Dreams and goals are important and we shouldn’t dismiss them and not have them.  Just don’t let them crowd our vision of today.  What small steps can I take today?  What future do I envision?  Why does it hold power and energy or attention over right now?  What can I do this very moment to bring that vision closer to my reality?  Ask questions.  Take stock.  Be still and listen to the guidance.

Is wishing away the potty training stage and loads of laundry that goes with it worth not being present to see her smile?  Her full sentences form, her blooming creative play, her, “Momma, play with me?”  This is where I am and the future is uncertain.  Someday it will go by all too fast and be a distant memory.  Today I’m in her life.  We share the same roof and space.

I can wish the clutter and loud chaos away or I can see the bigger picture.   We have the means to acquire all these awesome toys that allow us stretch our imaginations and connect with each other.  I can witness how she’s finally grappling with her own body cues to use the bathroom on her own.  And as in all learning, there are missteps and accidents happen.  And I don’t want to miss it for a moment.

Hedging our bets on an unknown future robs us of what is happening in the here and now.  I will breathe and I will play, if only for today, because that’s where I live.