Enjoy the present because tomorrow is not promised

April 22, 2018

It has been said that most people cannot enjoy the present because they are always dwelling on the past or looking to the future. I think that I can be counted in that category most of my life but as I have aged I have slowly learned to not take anything for granted and to enjoy the present as much as I can.

An often-heard phrase is "stop and smell the roses". To me, this means taking the time out of your day to realize where you are, what you are doing, who you are doing it with, and most importantly why you are doing what you do.

Life happens fast. One day you are young with your whole life ahead of you and the next thing you know you are "over the hill" with the majority of your life in the rear mirror. Time stops for no one and one of the aspects you cannot change in life is that you will continue to grow older.

I have tried to slow down some in my life. It's not easy when you are constantly pushing yourself and the hours, days, months and years seem to fly by. One thing that has helped some to slow down is meditation. By practicing meditation regularly, I have learned to concentrate on my breathing and to be more patient and present at the moment while worrying less about the future or dwelling on the past.

I do really want to enjoy my life more and appreciate what I do have as opposed to what I don't have. I often think about how precious life really is. I am an alumnus of Elon College (or Elon University as it is now known). About a year ago I saw on the news that an Elon Freshman, Molly Offstein was out for a run near the Elon campus and was hit by a car by accident. She suffered severe brain trauma and was rushed to the hospital. She was in a coma and her survival was in doubt. She finally did awake from the coma but as a completely different person.

Molly was on the cross-country running team at Elon. She was in the prime of her life, young and beautiful. After the accident, Molly's life changed forever. She now does not remember the first 20+ years of her life and needs assistance to do everything such as eating, walking, or going to the bathroom. The life she knew before will never be the same, yet she perseveres. I use Molly as an example of someone whose life did a 180-degree turn and as young as she is her life will never be the same as it was prior to her accident and she faces challenges unforeseen. Molly is a very courageous human dealing with these obstacles.

You can never take life for granted. Life is precious and life is short. You may have today, but tomorrow is not promised. Enjoy life as much as you can and appreciate and love your job, your significant other, your family, and your friends.


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