“There are people who do not live their present life; it is as if they were preparing themselves, with all their zeal, to live some other life, but not this one. And while they do this, time goes by and is lost.” — Antiphon
Are you living the life you have right now, or are you putting it off? Does today or tomorrow rule your thoughts?
Are dreams and intentions given the torch of now or the brand of someday? I’ll be happy when… or I’ll be happy now?
We are so caught up in the visions of the future, the plans for tomorrow, the lives we want versus the lives we have, that we can easily spend most of the life we’re living preparing for one to come. Dreaming, planning, putting off, telling ourselves we’ll be happy when X happens, we’ll take that trip when Y happens, we’ll respect ourselves more when Z happens.
Anytime but during the life we have now.
And worse still, that so many of us play it so safe, as if the lives we’re living are a placeholder for a life to come, for another chance. But this is all the life we have. This is the only chance we have to live, to love, to learn, and to grow.
As Marcus Aurelius said, we cannot possibly live any other life than the one we’re living, nor lose any other life than the one we’re losing slowly every passing day.
So let us live, and let us live now. Yes, we must plan for the future. Yes, we must think ahead. But not wishing for some other life, and certainly not putting things off thinking that we’ll “Have Time.”
“The trouble is, you think you have time.” —Buddha
This Moment Is All the Time We Have
This moment is, and always shall be, all the time we have. Life plays no favourites, and neither does death. None of us knows when it will end. I have seen people in their early twenties die out of the blue from a fluke medical event, while I’ve seen people live into their mid-nineties without ever having lost their ability to drive, walk, paint, and take care of themselves.
Is there any telling where our lives will lead? No.
Stop preparing to be happy. Stop preparing to be healthy. Stop preparing to call those old friends. Stop preparing to say “I love you.”
Stop preparing to take that chance you’ve always wanted to take. Stop preparing to live the life you’ve dreamed of.
Stop preparing to live… and start living.