Live in the moment….a common theme in most self help books. But what does that mean exactly. I understand that the past is gone, let it go. And the future has not yet come, so don’t waste time worrying about what may or may not come to pass. But what does it really mean to live in the moment?
To my black and white line of thinking, it means if it feels good, do it. Why spend the afternoon doing housework, if a friend calls and invites me to lunch? Why save for retirement when driving that new car would give me such pleasure now? And why worry about tomorrow’s hangover when that second martini is what I want in this moment?
Kris Allen’s song Live Like Your Dying teaches us to use today wisely. Don’t waste this gift called life. Don’t hold back. Treat those you love as if you will never see them again. All good advice, but this line of thinking is how I justify my drinking habits.
It’s the middle of winter in New England. Dark, snowy, and cold. Right now, in this very moment, I want to have a drink. Why not? I’m not going anywhere. My day has come to an end. Who am I bothering by having a cocktail? And I’m supposed to live in the moment, right?
I am approaching the age of 50. And I have somehow gotten this idea in my head that my life is over. My kids are grown, I’m not quite an empty-nester yet, but that is the next stage of life for me. So I have a choice to make. Am I ready to give up on myself and live like I’m dying or am I willing to discover my next venture. Do I go back to school? Should I get a job and learn a new skill? There is a world of opportunity for me, so with all due respect to our young idol, I think I will live like I’m living.