Living Life in the Present
Living Life in the Present: Lessons From a Friend
He’s 16, a high school junior and unsure what he wants to do when he “grows up”; he is my son. In a recent conversation about graduation, college, what he wants to study and a possible career choice, Christopher threw his hands in the air and said “I just don’t know mom. I have no idea.” Taking a deep breath trying to gather just the right words of assurance for him my heart broke a little bit. As the momma I have always tried to reassure my children that no matter what they choose to do I would be proud of them, but somehow the pressure is still there. With college applications right around the corner for my son it seems that the pressures of life are working overtime to unsettle him. The future can seem like a scary place because well, it’s an unknown territory.
With our conversation still fresh in my mind I whisper a prayer for my son that his fears be calmed, the vision for his future become less hazy and that he allows himself to live in the moment. I’m not suggesting that he doesn’t make any plans I am suggesting, however, that he doesn’t focus so much on the future that he loses sight of what’s going on in the present.
American author Henry David Thoreau said “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” Recently I have had conversations with friends regarding living in the present acknowledging that what we have right now is all we are guaranteed; we need to remember to live fully in the present.
In September a friend, walked into the local pharmacy (I’m told to check his blood pressure because he wasn’t feeling well) collapsed and died. In a flash of time he was gone leaving behind questions, confusion and a grief that is indescribable. At 39 years old JD was quite possibly one of the most fun loving people I knew. He married his sweet wife Amanda just six years ago and within a few years they became parents to two little girls now ages 2 and 4. JD was larger than life, full of wit, humor and a hint of sarcasm that made you think and quite often laugh out loud. With his straight faced humor he had the ability to make you lose your composure quite often at the most inopportune times; church was one of those places. One of my favorite memories of JD was the way he sang loud and often times off key; he could turn any song into a song in the round and those of us around were eager to join in.
Always willing to take one for the team JD donned a beautiful purple sequined ball gown to compete in a womanless beauty pageant to raise money for Relay for Life. Cancer affected his family and he wanted to do all he could to help. Being the dad of two little girls and numerous nieces who love baby dolls, tiaras, cowgirl boots and all things sparkly it was quite common to see him carrying a little purse, fixing a hair bow, kissing a boo boo, break out into dance, hold a hand, or cuddle one of his girls when they needed it. JD embraced life to the absolute fullest each and every day and while it saddens me deeply to know that he’s not around anymore to make us laugh, think, disagree, share thoughts on faith and search for answers to complicated questions I am grateful for the example of a life well lived. My heart hurts for the loss of a great man but it also celebrates a life well lived; a life of purpose, integrity and determination to live each day as if it were the last.
How often do we find ourselves so bogged down in the day to day activities of our lives that we forget to have fun and to enjoy what we have in each moment? With Christmas fast approaching our senses are already on overload. Thanksgiving is two weeks away and we have already moved onto the next holiday. How is it that we have gotten ourselves so far out of focus that we are constantly looking toward the next thing when we haven’t allowed ourselves to enjoy what’s right in front of us? I don’t have answers, only questions that continually roll around in my head and a deep desire to stay in the moment a bit more often.
As you go about this week I encourage you to take a few moments each day to acknowledge the presence of that day, the ones you share your life with and the moments that make life meaningful; the good and the not so good. One of his last Facebook posts just ten days before he died JD shared a picture of his two little girls eating their dinner watching a movie with the following words:
“So much uncertainty and worry about someone’s little girl still missing in Charlottesville, makes me feel so helpless. I won’t be able to protect them forever, but I can tonight. Tonight we eat dinner and watch Wizard of Oz because it reminds Daddy of more innocent and safer times.”
Little did I know that his post it would become so powerful just a short time later. We never know what tomorrow will bring so while you make your plans for tomorrow, the next day, week or next year hold onto to what you have now and just enjoy it to pieces. “Dance. Smile. Giggle. Marvel. TRUST. HOPE. LOVE. WISH. BELIEVE. Most of all, enjoy every moment of the journey, and appreciate where you are at this moment instead of always focusing on how far you have to go.” ~ Mandy Hale
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Read more Karla’s Korner , also please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.
Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!