Today I thought to myself “If only I could win some money, just a little bit, just enough to catch up, just enough to give me some breathing room… then I’d be able to relax and enjoy life.” The problem? I’ve been saying that since I turned 18 and entered the dreaded world of adulthood. Since then I’ve been promoted, come into several lump sums of cash (nothing huge, but enough to help), had a child, bought a house, bought new vehicles, did renovations, paid off substantial debt, and I still feel the same way I did 10 years ago. I still feel like I’m waiting to be able to enjoy life.
When I think about all the moments I missed worrying about tomorrow it brings tears to my eyes. Those tomorrows that caused me so much anxiety, so many sleepless nights, have come and gone. And today I can’t think of a single one that was worth it. Today, I see that I made it through them all, and not one of them was as bad as I had built them up to be in my mind. Don’t get me wrong, there were some rough days in there somewhere, days when I really thought I wouldn’t make it through. But I always did. And today I realize that if I had had a little more faith in God, and a little more faith in the person that he made me, those days might not have been so hard. Maybe I could have found a little more joy between the heartache.
I know this isn’t a new lesson. There are many quotes on the internet about living for today, enjoying the moment, etc. The two that come to mind now are “Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace” and “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” There comes a time in each of our lives when these old life lessons really hit home and today, apparently, is my day to learn this one. Today this one will change my life, but only if I let it. Actually “let” might be too passive of a word. Only If I work really hard at it. Because I’ve been worrying all my life and speaking from experience, it takes a lot of time and effort to change something that’s ingrained in the very fabric of your being. So today I’m going to make an effort to be aware of those nearly constant worrisome thoughts. And tomorrow I’m going to make an effort to remind myself, when those thoughts come up, that today is short and tomorrow can be dealt with tomorrow. And I will keep doing those things until eventually my brain will learn that I no longer live in the constant anxiety of tomorrow, and it will be much easier to live in the joy of today.
And one day I’ll be able to sit outside in my yard with the weeds that grow faster than I can cut them, and my son that grows faster than the weeds, and I’ll be able to put my focus on the latter rather than the former. And in 10 years from now, when I look back I will be able to smile at all the precious moments I’ve had, rather than cry for all the moments that I let pass me by.
Submitted by Michelle Nault