Sunday, April 17, 2011

This Moment

It seems that suddenly our world has been inundated with "quick fix" syndrome--this is what I like to define as wanting brilliant outcomes with little to no effort. What ever happened to the journey and sweat being the reward? Don't get me wrong, I have the same tendencies to want to blink and have the house clean (no toilet scrubbing, vacuuming, de-cluttering or dusting EVER would be part of my perfect world!). The interesting thing is that we forget to enjoy being HUMAN amidst all the quickness. Many Eastern philosophers believe that we have come to inhabit our bodies as a result of various rebirths after many difficult feats, so to squander our time in them is to not really understand the magnitude of what we've been given. We see ourselves as being entitled to certain things rather than to appreciate the lot we're blessed with.

Even if one doesn't believe in the concept of karma or rebirth, the reality of how little time we're given in a lifetime seems to go unheeded. When we live each moment not knowing what the next one holds, it should help us realize how important this moment really is. The idea of "killing time" is actually quite disturbing in this sense, especially when one considers the many people who live their last moments wishing they had more time doing the things they enjoyed most or hanging out with the people they loved.

In his mid-eighties, while my grandfather-in-law was near the end of his life--in and out of lucid states--he smiled and said, "If you want to be happy, live the life I've lead." I can't think of a more gratifying thing for a family to hear when a loved one is dying. Here was a man who survived a war and cancer and felt that he'd lived life the best he could and felt at peace as a result. He worked very hard for a good portion of his life, and he also played well for most of it. Every once in a while, when I'm feeling stressed or upset about something, regardless of whether it's in or out of my control, I reflect on all of the wonderful things that I've done in my life that have been on my wish list, and how lucky I am to be capable to do more at this point in my life. I also try to remember not to compare myself to others, especially since my idea of fulfillment is not the same as everyone else.

I challenge everyone to slow down and enjoy the moments of their lives, as well as the process that goes into becoming our best selves. Work does not have to be a bad word! It can be simultaneously labourious AND enjoyable! So, not to date myself, but in the illuminating words of Ferris Bueller (yes, I did go there!), "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

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