I’ve seen a lot of versions of this phrase (LIVING IN THE MOMENT) in various interviews over the past few months and today, on a fairly dreary day, where music and quiet has allowed me more time than usual to dwell on it, I decided I had no clue what it really means so I thought I’d give my own take on it.
Many days I spend time fretting about what is to come while simultaneously looking back on what has passed. Fretting might be a bit strong. Planning with an eye toward what could go wrong is, maybe, a better description. I have come to enjoy days that, weather wise, are very appealing (today is not one of those days) and on those days there is less “fretting” and more appreciation for the day itself. That doesn’t stop me from constantly running a “to do” list in my head and trying to make sure the appropriate boxes are checked each day. Being where I am on the cradle-grave timeline I have far more things to look back on than many. However, I do realize that I also have an infinite amount of things to look forward to. The idea of “legacy” occasionally surfaces and it’s those times where I do, in fact, live far more in the present that in either the past or the future. I have not left a series of literary masterpieces, hit songs, hall of fame athletic accomplishments, buildings with my name on them, endowed chairs at universities, or so on. What I, and my incredible wife, have both done is to get up each day and share experiences and suggestions with a lot of different people, young and contemporaries. We have no way of ever knowing what effect that has had, other than the occasional note or email we get. What we do know is that every day we “show up” [I stole that from a friend. Thank you John Neral for that] and open our minds, hearts, and souls and learn. I have learned far more from the people I’ve worked with, both young and old, than I suspect they’ve ever learned from my and THAT to me is what it means to “LIVE IN THE MOMENT.“
D o I have strong opinions? You bet I do. Will I fight for what I think is the correct way? YUP! Am I occasionally stuck in a rut in terms of what I like and how I go about things? Oh Yeah!! What I’ve learned, mostly from my wife over the last magic 18+ years, is to take a breath, “listen” to what the universe is saying, and sometimes take that magic leap of faith. That, I think is living in the “now,” or the “moment,” or the “present.” Making choices; informed choices, sometimes spontaneous choices, choices that don’t hurt anyone and might help someone. Listening to the music of the day, singing the silly song, never missing the opportunity to look foolish while laughing away. What will things look like when we are “back to normal”?
Who knows…what I do know is that every year Uncle Dominic P. Starace would remind me (usually at the family Thanksgiving feast, while most adults where talking about the “good old days”) that THESE ARE the good old days, that there is no day better than today…this moment in time.
Kevin Fitzpatrick, Dr. Neil Floch’s gastric sleeve patient with over 180 lb. weight loss