As kids, all we can think about is what we will do as adults. We reach the young adult years and all we can think about is the next chapter: college, career, family, and so on. We get so focused on the tomorrows, we forget to live in the very moment we exist. In doing so, we miss out on a life we will later look back on only in memories.
Growing up in the Midwest, I recall spring as my favorite season. I remember how amazing the first sight of a robin made me feel, knowing they meant winter had made way for new beginnings. With the season change came a crisp fresh smell in the air, flowers blooming, grass growing, trees beginning to show off their new leaves; all things I love about that special time of year. Unfortunately, it was not until I was much older that I truly realized just how much those moments meant to me. I was so focused on growing up and getting on with my life that I neglected the beautiful life surrounding me.
In today’s society, we rush from one thing to another and at the end of the day exhaustion overcomes us, yet we cannot give an accurate account of what consumes most of the day’s rushing around. Why are we so insistent on getting through life as fast as possible? We grind ourselves away at a job for decades to acquire the “American Dream:” a house, cars, boats, and so on. Is that really living the dream though? Aren’t we just getting up day after day to pay a mortgage, car payments, and live as fancy of a life as we can?
Now, let’s examine a person who many may feel sorry for or designate them as someone lacking ambition: the minimalists. The folks who have no care what tomorrow brings, they are living in the moment they are in. They don’t care about possessions. They just open their eyes each day and tackle the day’s challenges as they come their way. They are not burdened by worry or exhausted from rushing to and from what will one day be inconsequential. Can you imagine living that free? Most cannot.
I imagine if you ask anyone who is about to cross over to Glory, what they wish they had done more, you will likely get a response similar to “Live more in the moment.” Time is one thing you can never get back and never purchase in bulk. Once the moment passes, it only exists as a movie reel in your mind.
So, if there are any young readers that happened to stumble across this article, I hope you will take your time to just savor each moment. Despite how you feel about the life you are living, the town you live in, and the family and friends surrounding you, the day will come that you wish you could go back and revisit it all. The more you slow down and stop rushing through life, the more moments you will actually carry with you; moments of true substance. These will be moments and memories you will feel in your soul.
Slow down, live right now instead of for tomorrow, next week, month or year. If you don’t, you will find yourself old and looking backwards over a life of regrets. Look around you right now, take it all in. Now live.
James Fansler is Lake Placid police chief. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.