While much of the world was engaged in last-minute shopping and readiness chaos for the day that followed, some of us here in Florida got to spend a quiet Christmas Eve, just breathing in life and enjoying ourselves.
It was a cool start to a near-perfect day across the sunshine state and with the cats all fed, I wandered down to my favorite early-morning spot and watched twilight paint the blue skies with yellows and oranges.
I wasn’t the first arrival and at the end of the pier was a lovely young lady, rod-in-hand, coffee at her side, and a gaze firmly fixed on what the horizon was doing.
With her permission, I made her the silhouetted subject of my morning shoot and I have attached some of the pics at the end of the blog for you to check out.
As the yellows finally faded, I bid her and Lake Parker adieu and headed off home to the kitties that would no doubt be eagerly awaiting my return and the inevitable flow of treats that my return would bring.
But as I drove away from this early morning scene, I thought about how perfectly in-the-moment my subject had been. I had seen her before a couple of times, with her partner, fishing or hooping and she told me this time, how she likes to start most of her days in this way.
In my mind, this is a genuine example of someone appreciating life’s current moment for what it is.
Much of our focus is on something that is yet to happen, to the detriment of the moment we are living in and our culture continues to pull us away from what we are now experiencing in order to anticipate something in the future.
The classic examples of this are Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, when the value of each of these days is merely that they precede something more important.
But our culture pushes us far harder than that. How many times have you been watching something on TV and within moments of it starting they are already advertising next week’s episode. A game you have been eagerly waiting for is just under way and they are pitching the explosive, highly-anticipated game that will follow, or airs tomorrow.
Or how when one election is over, they immediately start talking about the next one four years away. Some of us aren’t even guaranteed four minutes into the future, let alone four years … so, how relevant is this pitch to our lives?
This whole coming-soon narrative has nothing to do with what is actually coming soon. Because as soon as that arrives, they will be telling you about something else.
While a lot of people get caught up in this anticipation-frenzy, what they fail to understand is that real life is what is happening right now.
Not what is about to happen (might or might not). The relevance of something that hasn’t happened only exists in our willingness to devote energy to the anticipation.
Moving the goal-posts and shifting our horizon is a sad trait in today’s world. I fully understand the need to advertise and promote but we hype everything so much in advance that even if they do finally happen, they rarely live up to the promise.
And even if they were to live up to it, so what? How did we spend our days leading up to it? Did we lose focus on what was happening right around us as we imagined how great something else might be when it finally arrives?
We only have one life and it doesn’t exist in the coming soon category. It exists in the here and now.
In the US, over 8,000 people die every day. For them, there is no tomorrow and if that is where their focus was, then they have missed out on the value of their last day on earth. That translates to 56,000 people who won’t make it to next week’s episode, so hopefully they won’t have wasted too much energy in anticipating an answer to who shot JR?
Every breath we take is in the moment we find ourselves in. We can choose to breathe that in at the end of a pier watching the sky come alive or we can focus on what lies ahead … that day, that week, that month.
Living is in the present and if we are to give ourselves one little present today, then living is the one must-have this holiday season.
… just a thought.