Thought Catalog
April 14, 2017

This Life Is Too Fleeting – Live Today

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Elijah Henderson

When was the last time you painted your Mom’s nails or held your Dad’s hand as he crossed the road with you? When was the last time you had a silly fight with your sibling over the TV remote control? When was the last time you drove around singing the songs on the radio loudly with your friends on a road trip?

When was the last time you stopped postponing that vacation you were really looking forward to? When was the last time you took a break where you enjoyed every sip of coffee—its aroma and its taste instead of just gulping down the warm liquid? When was the last time you made someone so happy that they cried?

Don’t forget that as we grow up, our parents grow old. So, instead of spending another weekend at the office, make a surprise visit to home. It will turn out to be a much needed break for you from the monotonous work life and a much needed break for them from the house that has gone too quiet. While you are at it, do paint your Mom’s nails in the brightest shade of red and try out the latest hairstyles from YouTube on her. She will have a good laugh at the failed experiments; a laughter that will ring throughout the house and make it alive again.

Don’t miss out on your sibling’s graduation ceremony because you have that very important presentation on Monday. You being present on his/her graduation is just as important as you being present at office on Monday. After the ceremony, take him/her out for a nice fancy dinner and tell them openly how proud you are of them. They are probably at that confusing time of life when they are done with one milestone and might be unsure of what lies ahead. Your experience and encouragement will come in handy for them when they don’t have things figured out and are doubting their potential.

Don’t hesitate to pull your heartbroken bestie to a sudden unplanned road trip after the big break-up. They will probably be uninterested and gloomy in the beginning but when the roads beckon, the heart cannot refuse its beauty. Just drive around and take plenty of photos. Don’t try to look cool or beautiful in the pictures. Try posing silly and making faces in your pics. Run on the sandy beaches, take a skinny dip in the cold water of the pristine pond or attend a music fest. Do whatever you can but it should be unplanned. Only then your heartbroken friend will realize that sometimes the unplanned and the unprepared scenarios work out for the best. Also, they will realize that you are one friend that they will always want to be there for.

Don’t forget to write notes to the love of your life. Write small notes every day. Tell them how much you love them, how blessed you are to have them, thank them for being there when shit went down, write them a silly poem, write them a heartfelt note. Surprise them by doing the dishes when it is their turn, cook them a sumptuous meal once in a while, slow dance to your song, sit under the stars and have that heart-to-heart talk that you last had ages ago. Never make them feel ignored or a lesser priority than your work. When you fall sick, your company will send in a get well soon card and some flowers; it will be them who holds your hand and pick you up again from the bed.

Most importantly, don’t forget to love yourself and the things that you enjoy. Find some time to do whatever it is that you love. Be alone and meditate by indulging yourself in what you love to do. Reading, writing, dancing, singing, cooking, skating, weaving, painting, composing – whatever it is that you truly enjoy and what brings out the latent talent in you. In a world of chaos and ambiguity, it will help you find peace and clarity. It won’t be a medium of escape for you. Rather, it will be what will help silence the million negative voices in your head and help you find your inner voice. Never give up on what you love to do. While you may not always be able to pursue it as a career option yet it will always be an integral part of you and what defines you.

Life is like a bubble. We never know when it is going to burst. While we are busy making ends meet, paying our bills, postponing living our life to another day and planning our tomorrow, we lose on our precious today.

Living today and living in this moment is important to make our tomorrow better. But our brains are trained to always think about the past and the future; never the present. Living today and each moment of today is important because today is what makes the past and the future. A today well-lived will give us a past to reminisce about and a future to look forward to. So, while you are working hard to make a better future for yourself, ensure that you handle your present with care too. In this constant race of getting ahead in life, don’t miss out on the important things in life, especially your loved ones.

So, live today. Take each day as it is – a present that will be given only once.

This day won’t repeat again. The opportunities that it brings probably won’t come again. So, take care of your today and each moment of today and your past and future will automatically take care of themselves and save you a lot of regret ‘tomorrow.’ TC mark