Living in the moment is a continual struggle for me, as I have so many ideas, projects and plans. I’m trying to be more mindful and to pay attention to the time that I am actually living. To appreciate each day as it comes instead of letting so many of them slip past unnoticed that it will soon be my birthday again and then another whole year will have vanished. Slowing down and appreciating the joy in each day, however simple and ordinary, is a really good way of slowing down the pace of life, which can be painfully hectic sometimes. I know, I’ve spoken about this before on here, but it is something that I’m really trying hard to work on this year.
My new motto is something I read somewhere recently. It’s probably horrifically well known, but I have no idea who to attribute it to, so I’m afraid I’m not going to.
‘Today is the only day of your life. Act accordingly.’
For me, this means many things. It means letting go of things that have happened to me instead of re-living them in my head time after time, as though I might change my actions or the consequences of them. It means trying really hard not to spend all my time impatiently waiting for things in my future to arrive, whether that is the day I go on holiday, the day my lovely son is finally out of nappies or that blessed day when I finally pay off my giant bank loan. It means really taking on this day and making the most of it.
That means spending time doing the things I love instead of wasting time on things I really don’t care about. If a book is not keeping my interest, I will leave it to one side now instead of doggedly trying to finish it. Life is too precious and there are too many other books to be read. The same goes for films or television shows. I will happily spend time on the things that are considered a ‘waste’ of time, if I am enjoying them, but I am trying to turn off my mobile, switch off the laptop and spend time on those things that I have always wanted to do. This results in more time actually being spent on making projects happen instead of messing about on clothing websites (for example!) so it’s a winning and productive way to try and spend at least some of my time.
Alongside trying to really live in the only day I truly own, is trying to act accordingly. Telling the people I love, that I love them. Keeping things that go wrong in perspective. Counting my blessings. I’ve started to have pauses in my day, to think about what I am doing, how I am feeling, and ask myself if I am really ‘acting accordingly’ – and if I’m not, then I will consciously try to do so. I know it all sounds a bit odd, but it is really and truly making me feel better about each and every day of my life. It makes me take a deep breath instead of getting cross, it makes me slow down and really look about me to appreciate the small, joyful things that every day life brings and it makes me a better, kinder and more open person to those around me.
Before I read my book each evening, I have a little think about the day. I am trying to practice gratitude a bit more, so I will think of a few things that I am particularly grateful for. Above all, I want to get into my bed at the end of each day, and be happy to know that if this was to be my last day on Earth, I have used it well, shared it positively and made the most of it.
I’m aware that this post is in danger of sounding like a poorly written self help book, so, as one final act of self-sabotage, I am going to quote the irrepressible Ferris Bueller:
‘Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.’
PS: If you’re looking for a fun way to waste five minutes then have a look at Ferris Bueller Quotes, which is a random Ferris quote generator. Ace.