Yesterdays, Todays, and Tomorrows

A friend of mine posted the other day on facebook something she overheard in the hallway at work….

“I have more yesterdays than tomorrows.”

It prompted her to think of her own life, and her own mortality. It resonated with her enough to post it (and she’s not one of those let-me-post-every-single-moment-of-my-life people.)

Then yesterday, there was a phrase in a book I was reading….

“You have more tomorrows than yesterdays.” 

And that one resonated with me.  For two reasons; first, I immediately remembered my friend’s post from the other day, and second, for me, this was absolutely true.  I’m 39 years old and I have decades yet ahead of me. And it gave me one of those “aha” moments. 

But then I wondered, what about today? What does it matter how many yesterdays you’ve had and tomorrows that you might have if you’re not paying attention to today?

It made me realize that I spend a lot of time on the other side of today. 

Sometimes I’m musing about my past, and the influence it had on me, and the part it plays in who I think I am now.  If I’m not doing that I tend to think alot about tomorrow.  For example, right now I’m thinking about furniture, and planting vegetables.  Now, that’s not something that matters today, currently I’m touring full time, and it will be that way through the end of the year.

But I like to analyze (others who know me might say “over-think”) and I like to plan. 

I like to feel as if I have an idea of where I came from and that there is a form for where I’m heading to.

Now, don’t misunderstand, I’ve never been one of those people who always has a 5 year plan.  There is a certain element of “go with the flow” that I have found absolutely essential to not completely losing my mind on a minute by minute basis. But all the same, I like to feel as if there is a pattern somewhere.  A piece of tapestry, perhaps, that I am a part of that may not make much sense now, but sometime down the road I’ll get a glimpse of the pictures on that tapestry and at least a little bit will make sense.

That takes a certain willingness to take a regular leap of faith. And I guess the reality is I’m not always ready to leap. I suppose that’s just a part of doing the best I can with what I have. On a moment by moment basis.

Delinquency…or Why You Should Write About it Anyway…

Ok…so I do feel a bit delinquent…honestly. I had started this new blog on wordpress.com, and for a while I was pretty good at posting regularly. Then life got in the way and I put it to the side. Not consciously, but I did it all the same. So I just blogged about how life is short and you shouldn’t put things off, and why the Desiderata is important to me (and it really is, I inherited the fascination with the Desiderata from my Grandmother), and I realized that I had stopped doing something that matters to me. And I wondered why.

Well, the why is because things got busy. But then I wonder why if things get busy I let what is important go by the wayside.

And really, what IS the wayside? Is it completely in the trash or is it recoverable? I like to think it’s recoverable, personally, otherwise I would just have to toss a bunch in with the towel, or with the baby and the bathwater, or whatever expression floats your boat.

Writing here, and seeing that others see it and even (gasp) like it, means something to me.

So, thanks to those that keep checking in, and thanks to those who have found this place regardless.

The hamsters (past hamster, present hamster and future hamster) turn in their wheels whether I write about what they churn up or not, but for sure, I know that if I don’t tell their story, the only thing that is guaranteed to happen is I will grind my teeth into oblivion, and my other half will get no sleep.

Thank you, hamsters, for not giving up…and thank you to everyone out there that reads this.

If the best you think you can do is write, then please share your story, no matter how much you may think it is unnecessary or a waste of time or irrelevant to everyone else….write about it anyway. Please. I know I always benefit when you do.

Life Can Be Short…Make the Most of It.

Honestly. I don’t mean to sound morbid, because I actually feel completely opposite to that. I’m asking everyone to remember that what you put off is what you might never achieve.

I’ve blogged before about my job and how all-consuming I can let it be. Heck, I was in London for several weeks and managed only to see the London Bridge in person. When I got a day off I was tired and I slept…necessary but still, perhaps the job wouldn’t have felt so exhausting if I’d put some energy into actually trying to have a life outside work. That’s all on me.

So now, I’m in Madrid, and it is raining all the time, and it would be super easy to justify not leaving the house on my days off, but starting in this city I was blessed to have my other half with me, and that made a difference. I wanted to get out, walk, explore with him…and hopefully I will retain that urge now that he has had to go home.

I regret not doing what I had planned while I was in Japan, and then in London…so there is no time like the present to make the most of the time I have.

Here’s to the Desiderata….and if you don’t know it you should…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desiderata….and while you’re there, please contribute to http://www.wikipedia.org…they are worth the investment.

Thank You John Candy….

I wish I could claim originality, but check out the Dalai Lama, Winnie the Pooh, or, my favorite, the Desiderata, and you will see that I am not the first one to think that it’s the simple ideas in life that matter.

Love.

That’s it, that’s all. Don’t justify it. There’s no need for a pros and cons list…just love. Love like your life depends on it. Because it does.

You can’t take it with you.

Really, you can’t. Our ancestors buried their ancestors with their swords and gems and clothes and even food. You know what happened? Centuries later, their descendants came along and dug it up and made assumptions. I should know, my mother was an anthropologist and archeaologist.

Dance.

Really. Don’t be the one that stands against the wall and shakes their head no. DANCE when someone asks you and dance when they don’t. Pure abandon is necessary.

Sing.

Yes, even if you’re tone deaf. SING OUT LOUD. SING YOUR HEART’S SONG. After all, if you don’t, who will? So sing, dammit.

Play.

PLAY.

Can I say it enough?
NO.
Play, and play and play. Watch the children. They know the secret – they know how to invent, how to create, they KNOW and they don’t know. You can never be too old, or too cool….but you can be too………stuck. And play changes all of that.

Laugh.

Laugh out loud, give in to the belly laugh, no matter how undignified you think it may sound. Laugh until your ears itch…..and don’t be ashamed of what brings that mirth unrestrained….enjoy it. Life is too short to be dignified.

And finally,

BREATHE.

It’s a verb for a reason. It’s an action…an action that requires premeditation. A bodily movement that we believe is involuntary but I ask you, how many times do you realize you’ve been holding your breath? Gotcha. Think about it.

Life is not what we make it, it’s what we discover it to be. Plan all you want, but if you can’t roll with what actually happens, well, that’s when you’re in trouble.

The best things happen when you least expect it.

I know, because that’s how I found the love of my life. Honestly, probably the love of several lifetimes all rolled into one, and I know it now but….I spent a good two years talking myself out of what could be. Thankfully, somehow, I didn’t get so much in my own way that it never happened. I don’t know why, and I don’t know how, but that love still came to be….maybe because I stopped thinking about it so much and just let things go the way they should.

Here’s the deal – and you have to be willing to go with me on this….just picture your life path as a river. You have two options….either you “go with the flow” (thank you John Candy), or, you can make yourself a raft and a paddle and paddle furiously upstream, in the direction you think you are supposed to be going. It will be hard, and you will wonder why you are working so hard, and eventually, you will be so exhausted you will give up and….

Guess what, you’ll go with the flow, if only because you have no more strength to do otherwise.

And finally you will end up, after you have been towed along by the current and bashed against the rocks, exactly where you would have been before….if you’d only just taken a breath, taken the plunge and had a little faith/a little abandon.

I try to remember this – and when I wonder why I feel like I am working so hard, I really try to remember to drop the paddle and see where I’m supposed to be already.

Usually it results in a facepalm and a moment of “AHA”….

And also a feeling that someone somewhere is thinking “gotcha.” NOW, you see where you should be.

Guaranteeed that when I do finally get there, it’s very clear to me that what I had planned was far below what was possible….