Life’s just a series of ‘Now’s. A bunch of consecutive moments where the only place you are actually present is the current one right now. Yet so many of us spend 0.00000 of our time living in it.
There’s this ‘Now’ and then there’s this ‘Now’ (also don’t forget this one. Or this one. Now this one. Or this one. Also, this one. Oh yeah and who could forget this one. You get it.)¹
And you can spend this Now thinking about all your previous ones (the ones you fucked up, or the good ones), you can spend it looking forward to something in your future Nows or worrying about them before they’re actually here. While it’s important to be conscious that a dumbass decision in this Now could affect your future Nows, if you’re partly present in your past and future ones, it’s only at at the expense of this present now right here.
Or, option three, you can spend this Now conscious of this Now. Breathe in, smell, touch, look around you and –here’s that word again– be grateful for what you have in this Now right here.
We spend so much time worrying about a future Now, which when it comes, we then worry about another future one. Then when we’re in that one, we’ll again worry about another future one. And then you die.
Time flows on, abandoning those who crave it most; I own neither the future nor the past.
– Seneca (from On Earthquakes)
From high school worrying about what you’re going to do after it, to ‘ Am I going to have enough money to start a family?’ to ‘Am I going to have enough money for a house?’, to ‘Am I going to have enough money to retire?’, to ‘Am I going to see my kids have kids?’ to ‘Am I going to be alive to see this Christmas?’ until Whoops, oh shit…
You just died.
Because eventually your Nows run out, and it’s gonna hard as shit to regret past Nows, worry about future ones, or be grateful for the present one when you this is you:
¹ And I just wasted a bunch of yours there. What an asshole.