Saturday, 4 February 2012

It's only when we truly know and understand

It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth - and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up - that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.  Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross

There are quite a few inspirational quotes about living life for the day and not focusing on the past or the future but truly living as if each day would be your last.

Sadly this week has been a stark and tragic reminder of this.

We really do not know.

I’d like to feel that I do try and make the most of every day. I don’t put off things that I want to do but launch forward to try and fit as many experiences in my life as I can. Sometimes this is a problem as I rarely say no to things and end up cramming too many things in my life.

I know that I do this in part as a reaction to my life experience: when my father was 47 - and I was just 21 - he had a major stroke from which he never fully recovered and for him (and my Mum – and to some extent the rest of the family) life completely changed. He also went on to develop early-onset Parkinson’s Disease shortly after.

But he had dreams that he wished to fulfil – travelling across Canada by train; standing on the Great Wall of China - that became impossible after that one unforeseen and unpredictable moment. So, I don’t ever think “I’ll do that when I’m older/when I retire” as I know that it just might not be possible.

But still...I also don’t live enough of my life in the present.

I don’t necessarily dwell on things from the past, hold a grudge, or chew things over that happened yesterday or last week.

But I do spend much of my time looking forward – planning the next thing, organising the next event, activity or get-together.

I don’t stop and smell the roses often enough. I am not mindful of my situation in the present. I miss out on enjoying all the things that I have planned, because I’m off then, planning the next thing!

I need to learn to just enjoy the moment; be grateful for what I have; count my blessings as they happen and enjoy them.

As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are.  Otherwise you will miss most of your life.  Buddha

Dedicated to Paul Henderson 1966-2012