To Live

May you live every day of your life. – Jonathan Swift

I love after-breakfast time, when 3 hungry mouths have been fed, and I can crawl back into bed, tea in hand, sunlight beaming through the open blinds. For these quiet moments, I’m just living. My mind, free of wandering thoughts and worries, is consumed only by the day’s potential. Sometimes, it’s quiet enough to lull me back to sleep, a temptation few of us are immune to. Others, morning peace is fleeting, here one minute, gone the next.

I want my days to be like those few moments, in which the present is all that matters, and I can soak up each ounce of what it offers. It’s far easier to dwell on the past or thrive on the future. The former is what got us to where we are and the latter is often what keeps us going. But it’s far more rewarding to bask in the now because it’s what allows us to connect with each other, appreciate small pleasures, and simply take life as it comes.

I want to live each day, and to do so requires faith that this moment, and each one that follows, is enough. Enough to carry me through times of uncertainty, enough to give me an ounce of confidence or kindness, enough to look back on and say, “Today I lived.” 

I want to live in the present because that is what will determine my future – not 5-year plans or decisions made in haste – but the hundreds of decisions I make each day, that will be better informed by tuning into my surroundings and accepting where I’m at right now.

It’s hard not to worry about the future, and as our lives become richer, it only seems more so. It can be equally hard to embrace the here and now when it’s not where we imagined ourselves to be. But if we make room for each day to unfold without imposing on it our conditions for the future or expectations from the past, then we find ourselves in a place where we can be at peace with what is.

Maybe your most peaceful time will be in the first few minutes after waking up, or maybe it will come when you’re settling in for the night. Maybe you’ll find yourself feeling most alive from a simple “Thank you” in the midst of a hectic day. Because after all, what could be more expressive of your significance?

Whenever it may be, don’t discount these moments. While there will be days when they are few and far between, they are all we have, and we owe it to ourselves to honor them, to live.