Do you miss today by thinking about tomorrow?
Is it possible to be too eager for the future? Do you ever find yourself so driven by the anticipation of big events that you take the current moments for granted?
It's easy to sell Monday's short. (Hello alarm clock.) Many times we merely survive Tuesday. (Come ON Hump Day and get here already!) Wednesdays are fine because we're half-way to the weekend. (Though it's my least favorite day to spell.) Thursdays are busy because weekend plans have to be finalized. (So the week went fast after all!) Friday, well that's everyone's favorite. At least until Saturday arrives. Sunday we spend dreading Monday.
This pattern repeats itself in a macro way, like children who count the days between Christmases, we can easily become hyper-focused on the next thing.
The date. The wedding. The child. The party. The vacation. The promotion. The reward.
And then, the "thing" passes and we're left wondering what's next.
When we do this, we are at risk of missing what's now for what's next.
Maybe it's my advancing years, or the fact that my children are clearly going to pass my 5'8" frame in the next 24 months, but I am working hard not to worry about "what's next" and instead merely enjoy what's now. Many people call this mindfulness, but I like the clunkier, more descriptive phrase of being "in the moment."
Perhaps my favorite literary take on this subject is a poem by Philip Larkin. (I've written about him before and he's BRILLIANT!!) Read it slowly, soak in each paragraph and be encouraged to find the joy in today!
Always too eager for the future, we Pick up bad habits of expectancy. Something is always approaching; every day Till then we say,
Watching from a bluff the tiny, clear Sparkling armada of promises draw near. How slow they are! And how much time they waste, Refusing to make haste!
Yet still they leave us holding wretched stalks Of disappointment, for, though nothing balks Each big approach, leaning with brasswork prinked, Each rope distinct,
Flagged, and the figurehead with golden tits Arching our way, it never anchors; it's No sooner present than it turns to past. Right to the last
We think each one will heave to and unload All good into our lives, all we are owed For waiting so devoutly and so long. But we are wrong:
Only one ship is seeking us, a black- Sailed unfamiliar, towing at her back A huge and birdless silence. In her wake No waters breed or break.
- Philip Larkin